This practice has resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of imperiled sea turtles. Sea turtles are turtles found in all the world’s oceans except the Arctic Ocean. Government money for research needs to used to improve the longline system.
There are seven living species of sea turtles:
flatback, green sea turtle, hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, leatherback, loggerhead and olive ridley.
Kemp’s Ridley is the smallest living sea turtle species and live the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Almost all females return each year to a single beach Rancho Nuevo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas to lay their eggs. (Pictured below.) Due to fishing practices the Hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata populations around the world are threatened with extinction and has been classified as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union. (Pictured at the right.) All species Are being snagged by razor sharp hooks on fishing lines that span anywhere from four to nine nautical miles, the loggerhead and other threatened and endangered sea turtles are drowning and dying right now in the Gulf of Mexico.
Loggerheads nesting on Florida beaches the same turtles captured in the Gulf of Mexico bottom longline fishery have plummeted by more than 40% over the last decade Six of seven species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and indiscriminate fishing practices like this are a grave threat to sea turtles around the world.
The leatherback turtle ( at the left) is the largest of all living sea turtles and the fourth largest reptile behind three crocodilians. It has no claws on both pair of flippers. The leatherback’s flippers are the largest in proportion to its body among the extant sea turtles. Leatherback front flippers can grow up to 2.7 meters in large specimens, making their the flippers the largest in comparison to its body of any sea turtle.
As the last surviving member of its family, the leatherback turtle is different from other sea turtles.because it lacks a the bony shell like other living sea turtles. The leatherback’s carapace is covered by its thick, leathery skin with seven minuscule embedded bony plates. that run from the anterior-to-posterior margin of the turtle’s back. The entire turtle’s underside is lightly colored.
Dermochelys coriacea adults average at around one to two meters long and weigh from around 500-1650 lbs.(250 to 700 kilograms). The largest ever found measured over three meters from head to tail and weighed 2015.2 lbs (916 kilograms). That particular specimen was found on a beach on the west coast of Wales in the North Atlantic
Being able to descend to depths of 1200 meters (3,937feet) or more the leatherbacks are the reptile world’s deepest-divers. They are also the fastest reptiles listed in 1992 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, the leatherback turtle speed of 9.8 meters per second (35.28 kilometers per hour) in the water has not been beat.
Please help us save the lives of threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. Write the National Marine Fisheries Service to immediately put more attention into safer practices to save sea turtles and other wildlife caught in by these hooks.
Finding ways to save the fishing industry and the wildlife is our goal. Updated based on your input.2/21, 2009. Thanks for all the quality facts and figures that are coming in your feedback makes a difference.
Image 1. Green sea turtle courtesy of Greenexpander.com green-sea-turtle
Image 2. Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle courtesy of Wikipedia PadreIslandNationalSeashore-KempsRidleySeaurtle
Image 3. Hawksbill: Courtesy of Wikipedia.org Hawksbill_Turtle.
Image 4. Loggerhead: Courtesy of Seasky.org seasky.org/reeflife/turtle_loggerhead_sea
Excerpts Courtesy of Wikipedia.org Leatherbackturtle
Image 5. Leatherback: Courtesy of Wikipedia.org LeatherbackTurtle
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