A total of 430 sea turtles have now
been impacted by the deadly duo of commercial fishing and offshore oil
in the Gulf. Eleven new sea turtles have been rescued alive and oiled today. An
additional 8 sea turtles were reported as dead strandings, with the
presence of oil still "pending".
Of all wildlife collected in the
wake of the BP oil spill, the presence or absence of visible oil was
determined on 99.3% of birds, 90.3% of marine mammals, and only 39.7%
of sea turtles. To download the data, click here.
With trained fish
and wildlife professionals handling all the official activities, it
remains a mystery as to why the presence or absence of visible oil on
over 60% of the sea turtles is still not known.
"I have made
written and verbal requests for the results of the sea turtle necropsy
tissue sample analysis, and have not received a response from NOAA or
the wildlife care professionals. The death of each endangered sea
turtle can not be taken lightly. Our public agencies have a duty under
the Endangered Species Act to determine causes of death and take
enforcement action where needed," says Dr. Chris Pincetich of the Sea
Turtle Restoration Project.
The Sea Turtle Restoration Project is
investigating the irregularities of the current cause of death of the
hundreds of sea turtles this year being tallied by the Consolidated
Fish and Wildlife officials. We have led efforts in the Gulf to reduce
sea turtle deaths for over a decade. Intense commercial fishing
pressure continues to be the leading killer of endangered sea turtles,
and we intend to "keep our boot on the neck" of our public officials
until this mystery of hundreds of stranded Gulf sea turtles is solved.
Dr. Mike Ziccardi from the University of
California at Davis, head of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and
currently stationed in Louisiana overseeing sea turtle rehabilitation,
reported today that 75 sea turtle necropsies have been performed, and
no signs of oil internally or externally were detected on these first
75 dead sea turtles.
Shrimping nets continue to be the lead
suspect in the deaths of hundreds of sea turtles this spring that have
washed ashore without any signs of oil exposure.
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Comment by Ellen, Jun 16th, 2010 2:06pm
Please STAY ON THEM!! To harm one of our endangered sea turtles is a crime and clear violation of U.S. Federal Law!! Time to crack down! Get every possible turtle out of there & safe in captivity, please!!