Jul 122013

Mexico is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, all of which are on the international Red List of endangered or critically endangered species. Participants at last month’s meeting of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), have elected Mexico to preside over the organization for the 2013-2015 period.

Luis Fueyo Mac Donald, the Commissioner of Mexico’s National Protected Natural Areas, says that Mexico will lead the efforts to promote the recovery of sea turtle populations in the Pacific Ocean, a priority because the marine animals are seriously threatened. The intention is to raise public awareness about the turtles’ plight and expand regional cooperation to protect turtle nesting and feeding grounds, as well as migration routes.

Selected marine turtle nesting beaches in Mexico.

Selected marine turtle nesting beaches in Mexico.

The next formal meeting of the IAC members will be held in Mexico in 2015.

In related news, the Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (Ospesca) has announced that new regulations are now in place to protect sea turtles in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The regulations should greatly reduce the numbers of turtles caught in shrimp nets, which now have to be fitted with Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). TEDs are metal grids of bars attached to shrimp trawling nets; they have openings designed to allow larger animals, such as sea turtles, to escape, while keeping shrimp inside.

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