More nests on the Texas coast than ever recorded!
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, almost extinct in the 80s, is slowly recovering from years of poaching in Mexico prior to 1978 and drowning in shrimp trawls in US waters before the Turtle Excluder Device was required by federal law.
So far this year, 128 Kemp’s ridley nests have been confirmed on the Texas coast including (north to south in state): Bolivar Peninsula 1, Galveston Island 6, Surfside Beach 2, Bryan Beach 1, Matagorda Peninsula 4, Matagorda Island 8, Mustang Island 4, North Padre Island 81 including 73 at the Padre Island National Seashore, South Padre Island 18, Boca Chica Beach 3.
The 128 is the most Kemp’s ridley nests that have been confirmed on the Texas coast since record keeping began in the 1980’s. Many area records have also been broken.
Since the majority of the nests are found at the Padre Island National Seashore (73), a marine reserve or marine protected area is needed to keep commercial fishermen and shrimpers out of the waters where the nesting sea turtles congregate. The need for this all year closure of Texas and federal waters by the Padre Island National Seashore should be a priority with the steady increase of nesting turtles.