Target: President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto
Goal: Create a sanctuary off the coast of Mexico to protect endangered loggerhead sea turtles from becoming trapped and killed in fishing nets
Last year, scientists estimated that nearly 2,500 loggerhead sea turtles were killed along the Baja Pacific coastline after becoming trapped in gill nets. Gill nets are anchored to the ocean floor and can be up to one-mile long, making it incredibly difficult for sea turtles to escape. Although these nets are intended for fish such as halibut, all too often endangered loggerhead sea turtles become trapped in the nets and die as a result. With an estimated 40,000 nesting female loggerhead sea turtles living in the wild worldwide, we cannot afford to lose any more sea turtles due to poorly enforced fishing laws.
Accidental capture by fishing vessels is one of the largest threats to loggerhead sea turtles’ survival. Thankfully, this unnecessary slaughter as bycatch in gill nets can be prevented by adapting stricter commercial fishing reforms and creating a sanctuary for endangered sea turtles.
While the Mexican government has recently started to recognize the direness of the sea turtles’ situation by promising to place observers on boats to document from where fishing vessels are traveling and whether they are legally permitted to use gill nets, establishing a marine-protected area would greatly increase the sea turtles’ chances of survival.
By signing this petition, you will be encouraging the Mexican government to take action to create a loggerhead sea turtle sanctuary and better regulate deadly gill net fishing practices.
Dear President Nieto,
Accidental capture in deadly gill nets led to the unnecessary slaughter of nearly 2,500 loggerhead sea turtles last year, greatly increasing their chances of extinction along the Baja Pacific coastline.
While I commend your government’s promise to place observers on boats to document from where fishing vessels are traveling and whether they are legally permitted to use gill nets, creating a marine-protected sanctuary for endangered loggerhead sea turtles would greatly increase their chances of survival in the waters of Mexico.
Mexican fisheries must also reform their operations to conform with international sea turtle protection laws if we are to save this endangered animal from extinction. Please take immediate action to ensure that poorly managed fisheries do not cause the senseless murder of endangered loggerhead sea turtles.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: AlejandroLinareGarcia via Creative Commons