Fisheries Bycatch of Sea Turtles
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FISHERIES BYCATCH

Volunteers untangling sea turtle from fishing net

When fishermen put out their fishing gear, such as hooks, lines, and nets to catch fish, they also accidentally capture sea turtles too. This is known as fisheries bycatch, or the incidental capture of unwanted animals, and is a major threat to the conservation of marine turtles because turtles can get seriously injured or even drown when this happens. That is why our volunteers work with fishermen to untangle sea turtles from nets and lines, and remove hooks from sea turtles, by carefully following Protocols from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Since our volunteers are not always available to rescue sea turtles, we also train fishermen to use Bycatch Reduction Technologies (BRT) to reduce their chance of catching sea turtles. This results in more fish that is caught without having a large impact on sea turtle populations, opening the doors to Sustainable Seafood.