Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another Outrage in the Gulf: Sea Turtle Deaths

I really, really had no intention of blogging about the oil spill in the Gulf because, love them or hate them, I feel the news agencies have been doing a splendid job keeping us up to date on the situation there.

I don't think anyone, regardless of how they feel about the welfare and conservation of the environment, can say that the situation in the Gulf isn't extraordinarily serious. When you have thousands of gallons of oil spilling out into the waters endangering the plant and animal life there are few other words to describe it other than extraordinarily serious. It's an environmental disaster.

The clean up crews certainly have their hands full with the monumental job that is ahead of them.

But, this post isn't about the clean up crews, the oil companies or the economy. It's about sea turtles.

As of right now, at least 35 endangered sea turtles have washed up dead onto the shores in the Gulf coast. Yes, you read that right, a whopping 35! Necropsies have shown that the turtles are not ingesting the oil that is spilling into the waters they call home. They aren't sure what is killing them but they do have one possible suspect that they are investigating: the nets of "aggressive shrimpers or other fisherman".

The shrimp beds off the Gulf coast are currently in eminent danger from the oil spill. Shrimpers have been working overtime on "emergency shrimping sessions" to harvest as much of the shrimp as they can before the oil spill potentially wipes most or all of it out.

Investigators are currently looking into whether or not shrimpers and fishermen have removed the turtle excluder device built into their nets in their hurry to grab as much from the sea as they can before the oil puts a damper on them.

Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are some of the most endangered sea turtles in the world and they are being found dead. Investigators are gathering tissue samples and other evidence and holding in it "the chain of evidence" in the event this issue ends up in court. Marine investigators as well as state and federal investigators are working on this mystery.

There is some speculation that the turtles have possibly eaten fish that were tainted by the oil spill.

Seeing as how there isn't any solid proof the shrimpers and fishermen are responsible for the sea turtle deaths I don't want to jump to any conclusions. If time does prove the fishing industry is the culprit, I feel they have no defense. Shrimp harvesting or fishing for the seafood industry is no excuse for the deaths of these gorgeous and endangered turtles. The plants and animals in the Gulf have enough working against them as it is without even more human interference in their lives.

For more information on this you can check out the following articles: & also has a write up about this issue. (Please note that these articles contain photos of deceased sea turtles.)

1 comment:

  1. It will be really interesting to see how this unfolds. Shame if the excluders have been removed.