VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
There’s a disconnect between the well-intentioned but wasteful practice of discarding bycatch at sea, and the benefits that bycatch can bring if it’s retained and brought home.
Sea turtles have been swimming in our oceans ever since the time of the dinosaurs, enduring meteor collisions, ice ages, and the shifting of the continents. Yet human activity has recently brought many sea turtle populations to the brink of extinction. Even the largest of the sea turtles – the leatherback turtle, a prehistoric giant that can grow to over 2 meters in length – is rapidly vanishing from the East Pacific Ocean. This population has now declined by more than 98% in the past 25 years. In the hope of seeing populations recover, countless conservationists and volunteers work tirelessly day and night. But lest we forget, these people do not work alone, sea turtles themselves are also working hard in this struggle.