Monday, 12 January 2015 10:44

The role of gillnets in the December 2014 Sea Turtles deaths - the Cetacea Foundation point of view

Due to last December 2014heavy storms, many carcasses of Caretta caretta appeared on the Adriatic seaside.

The situation is not as serious as it was in November 2013 when 166 carcasses were recovered but  only for December 2014, 64 dead turtles were found on the coasts of Emilia Romagna and Marche. On 20th December a piece of gillnet (30/40 meters) has been retrieved -  not very far from the shore of Cervia (Italy) - with six caught turtles (all dead): two of the carcasses were apparently trapped in the net while already dead and in an advanced state of decomposition, the other four animals were hopelessly entangled and died.

In October 2014,the Cetacea Foundation biologists also found a dolphin in an advanced state of decomposition with a long piece of gillnet in its mouth. The Tartalife project, coordinated by the CNR of Ancona (National Research Center), informed the Cetacea Foundation technicians about the placement of gillnets up to 50 km long in the Cattolica sea (Italy). The sea turtles’ mass strandings occurred in the past two years could be engendered also by the increased use of gillnet. These nets are very solid - although the wire is thin - and have a camouflage coloring. The Cetacea Foundation continues its search for information in this direction.

Sauro Pari – Cetacea Foundation

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