Longline rules could aid region’s sea turtles


U.S. authorities voted last month to impose tough new restrictions on longline fishing in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that experts say will boost protection for sea turtles in the U.S. and Latin America. The ruling by the federal Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is expected to ease pressure on the battered loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) population off the southeastern U.S. coast. But it also could benefit loggerheads that nest in Mexico and the Bahamas and critically endangered Kemp’s Ridleys (Lepidochelys kempii) and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) that nest in Mexico and Central America, experts say. For example, some leatherbacks nest on Panama’s Caribbean coast and feed in the Gulf of Mexico, where they can encounter longlines. Longlines often extend for... [Log in to read more]

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