Of the seven species of sea turtles, six are considered endangered, three of which are critically endangered (the Australian flatback turtle is considered ‘data deficient') by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Sea turtles nest on tropical and sub-tropical beaches around the world, but foraging grounds can extend to high latitudes and cold waters. Sea turtles are long-lived, slow-growing and slow to reproduce. These characteristics result in slow response times of sea turtle populations to unnaturally high mortality rates caused by human activities. Longlines, trawls, and gillnets are all considered threats to sea turtle populations, but the relative threat of each gear type differs according to geographic region, type of interaction, and species. In the US for example, longlines predominantly affect loggerhead and leatherback turtles, whereas trawls affect mainly loggerheads and Kemp’s ridley turtles. Here you can learn more about each sea turtle species, including what types of fishing gear are most important for each species.
General Sea Turtle Links: (regional links may be found on their respective pages)
(online bibliography of sea turtle literature)
- ISTS - 27th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation
Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs):
- WWF - Fact About Marine Turtles, Endangered Turtles, Sea Turtles
- Caribbean Conservation Corporation
Have other sea turtle links? Please let us know! You can add a discussion note below or contact our sea turtle expert, Bryan Wallace. Thanks!