International SeaTurtle Swimway Proposed in Gulf of Mexico

International SeaTurtle Swimway Proposed in Gulf of Mexico > > > > The world’s top sea turtle experts are calling on both the United > States and Mexico to provide more protection for the Kemp’s ridley > sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. A resolution passed in Crete > earlier this month at the 26th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle > Biology and Conservation recommends that all relevant governmental > agencies work to create a migration and nesting season no > commercial fishing zone (marine reserve) in the state waters > adjoining North and South Padre Islands, Texas, and a year round no- > commercial fishing zone from the Mexican border south to Tampico, > creating an international protected Kemp’s Ridley Swimway from > Corpus Christi, Texas, south to Tampico, Mexico. > > “Some 650 scientists from 64 different countries recognized that > the Kemp’s ridley has > begun recovering from near extinction and needs much more > protection in both U.S. and Mexican waters,” said Carole Allen, > Gulf Office Director of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and > founder of HEART (Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Sea Turtles). > > A second resolution addresses the revision of the 1992 Recovery > Plan for the Kemp’s ridley now underway by the U.S. Fish and > Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. It > recommends that the new recovery plan recognizes and designates the > Texas coast as nesting habitat and the adjoining waters as > important migratory and foraging habitat. Last year 51 Kemp’s > ridley nests were found on the Texas coast. > “So far this month, 13 dead sea turtles have been found on Texas > beaches as shrimping activity increases. More law enforcement is > needed immediately to make sure Turtle Excluder Devices are being > used properly on shrimp trawls,” Allen said. “We have also learned > that a female Kemp’s ridley raised and released in Galveston waters > in 1993 was butchered for her eggs in Mexican waters last year. > “Obviously, law enforcement is needed there also.” > > Visitors to Texas beaches in the spring and summer months should be > alert to the possibility of seeing a nesting sea turtle. All > species are either threatened or endangered and protected by > federal law. They should immediately call 1-866-TURTLE-5 for more > information. > > Submitted by: > Carole Allen, Gulf Office Director > Sea Turtle Restoration Project-TEXAS > HEART (Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Turtles) > P. O. Box 681231 > Houston, Texas 77268-1231 > Phone/FAX 281-444-6204 > Websites: > www.seaturtles. org