Assessment of Bycatch Impact on Sea Turtle Hatchlings in Nesting Sites in Peru

Jannyna Mires Rojas

In Peru, sea turtles bycatch reports are focused on juvenile and sub-adult individuals, mostly due to Peruvian waters are used as foraging areas. However, nesting of green and olive ridley turtles have been reported in northern Peru. Few reports of sea turtles’ hatchlings bycatch have been made by Peruvian artisanal fishers in nesting areas but there is no further study on that. In this project, we propose rapid assessments conduction to fishers from Cancas and Lobitos (nesting sites) to determine/assess the impact of bycatch on hatchlings.

Fishing boats anchored near the Cancas pier (study area). © Ruben Torrejon.

Fishing boats anchored near the Cancas pier (study area). © Ruben Torrejon.

Therefore, data collected will generate baseline knowledge about interactions between small-scale fisheries and hatchlings (i.e., gear types, areas of interaction, estimates of bycatch levels, fate). This information could help to identify management units for conservation in northern Peru by complementing knowledge generated by other organizations (government and non-government institutions) about sea turtle nesting.

We will also involve the local communities by strengthening fisher capacities on topics such as: sea turtles’ identification, bycatch data collection, mitigation measures as well as on feasible techniques to handle and release sea turtles in order to reduce the bycatch impact. It is worth mentioning that mitigation measures will be also made based on the discussion of project results and fisher’s feedback.

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