Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mark One Up For the Turtles!!!

On April 15 I posted about the lawsuit that was filed by Earthjustice, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and a coalition of other conservation groups — Caribbean Conservation Corporation, Florida Wildlife Federation, Gulf Restoration Network and Sea Turtle Restoration Project — to help protect sea turtles.

April 15 Post:
A Fight for the Sea Turtles
Several groups have filed a complaint to stop bottom longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. This type of fishing costs the lives of hundreds of sea turtles each year.

As a result emergency Action has been taken for threatened and endangered sea turtles. Federal regulators passed a temporary ban on commercial longline fishing in a popular sea turtle feeding area in the Gulf of Mexico. During the closure, which will go into effect May 16, the agency will determine whether and how the fishery can operate while ensuring the survival of the turtles over the long term.

Yeah, for the Turtles!!

Here is another article about how those in the fishing industry think this ban may devastate restaurant owners. The ban affects 104 fleets, which catch an estimated 60to 70 percent of all grouper in the Gulf, which will make grouper very expensive.

Now, the restaurants serve many other sea foods, can't we just eat something else? Can't the fishermen concentrate on finding a better way to catch grouper or catch a different kind of fish? I really like grouper, but it just isn't that important to me whether I have grouper or another kind of fish, if it means saving hundreds of sea turtles each year.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Loggerhead Rescued on Naples Beach

A Loggerhead turtle was found stranded on the beach at Naples on April 16, was taken to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital at Sarasota, and is doing well.

It was determined that the turtle had been tagged by Mote staff several times previously and had records dating back over 20 years. This, approximately 225 lb turtle has a lot of interesting history.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sanibel 2009 Sea Turtle Nesting Season

The City of Sanibel sent out information today concerning the 2009 sea turtle nesting season. Below is the email I received.

Sea turtle nesting season has returned to Sanibel's beaches once again. Nesting and hatchling emergence will take place from May 1 through October 31. This natural process has happened on Sanibel Island for centuries and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and the City of Sanibel are committed to protecting these threatened and endangered species.

One of the most remarkable natural phenomena occurring on our Gulf beaches is the nesting ritual of the loggerhead sea turtle. Sanibel's eleven miles of Gulf-front have more nesting activity than any other beach in Lee County. The rare opportunity to witness this ritual on a dark summer night is both an honor and a great responsibility. Sought by predators and susceptible to dehydration, sea turtle hatchlings have only a one in a thousand chance of survival. Human activities can further reduce that chance.

By following the simple guidelines below, you can do your part to ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures:

Turn off or shield lights near the beaches. Artificial beach lighting can inhibit female sea turtles from nesting and disorient hatchlings. Most beachfront lighting issues can be addressed by turning off all unnecessary lights, repositioning or modifying light fixtures, or closing blinds and drapes.

Remove furniture and other items from the beach and dune area, when not in use, between the hours of 9:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. Items left on the beach including beach furniture, toys and trash may provide barriers to nesting or result in entanglement and predation of hatchlings.

Level all sandcastles and fill any holes dug during play. These are fine during the day but may pose additional hazards at night. Please leave the beach as you found it, so that sea turtles and hatchlings are not hindered on their way to nest or to the water.

Pick up all trash. Sea turtles mistakenly eat debris, especially plastic, which results in death.

Honor the leash law. All dogs on the beach must be on a leash and not allowed to disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings.

Gulf-front property owners should make sure that their properties are in compliance with the City's marine turtle protection ordinances and ensure that artificial lighting from the property is not illuminating the beach (Sanibel Code Section 74-181-74-183, Section 126- 996-126-1002). An easy way to test if your property is in compliance is to stand on the beach on a moonless night and look seaward. If a shadow is cast towards the water, there is a potential to deter female turtles from nesting or disorient hatchlings as they emerge from the nest.

We look forward to another successful sea turtle nesting season and hope to uphold Sanibel's reputation as having one of the darkest and most "turtle friendly" beaches in the state. We ask for your continued compliance with City's marine turtle protection ordinances and remind all residents and visitors that violations of these ordinances may be subject to City, State, and/or Federal fines and penalties. Violations should be reported immediately to the Sanibel Police Department at (239) 472-3111, Sanibel Code Enforcement (239) 472-4136 or Natural Resources at (239) 472-3700.

For more information regarding sea turtles on Sanibel, please visit the City's website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Fight for the Sea Turtles

Several groups have filed a complaint to stop bottom longline fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. This type of fishing costs the lives of hundreds of sea turtles each year.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sanibel's C.R.O.W. and the Sea Turtles

There is an update on the three sea turtles that are currently being cared for at C.R.O.W. along with a video. Two of the turtles could be released in just a few weeks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Godfrey, Lookout, Carter and Emerald

Two Loggerheads and two Green sea turtles were rescued after a cold snap in the waters off the North Carolina coast and have spent five months being treated at the South Carolina Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital. Today they are swimming free once again.