Photo: Sea turtle (vanaqua)
Mexico has been elected to preside over the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, or IAC, for the 2013-2015 period, National Protected Natural Areas Commissioner Luis Fueyo Mac Donald said.
Participants at the June 26-28 6th Conference of IAC Members in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands agreed that promoting sea turtles’ recovery in the Pacific Ocean is a priority because the marine animals are seriously threatened, Fueyo said.
The special working group for the recovery of sea turtles in the eastern Pacific concluded that it is essential to raise public awareness about the animals’ plight and expand regional cooperation, the environmental official said.
The working group urged IAC member states to take measures to protect turtle nesting and feeding grounds, as well as migration routes, the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat said in a statement.
Mexico will host the 7th Conference of IAC Members in 2015, Fueyo said.
The Fishing and Aquaculture Industry Organization in the Central American Isthmus, or Ospesca, announced, meanwhile, that new regulations to protect sea turtles in Central America and the Dominican Republic from being caught in shrimp nets took effect on Monday.
The regulations apply to the use of Turtle Excluder Devices, or TEDs, which were created to reduce the impact of shrimp fishing on sea turtle populations.
The TED is a metal grid of bars attached to a shrimp trawling net. The device has an opening at either the top or the bottom that creates a hatch, allowing larger animals, such as sea turtles, to escape while keeping the shrimp inside, according to the Humane Society of the United States.