A new strategy is saving endangered California sea turtles from deadly fishing nets

In Southern California the inherent tension between conservation and fisheries is evident in the trade-off between the need to protect endangered sea turtles from getting caught in fishing nets and the importance of commercial swordfish as a source of income and livelihood for California fishers.

This month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration once again used a novel management approach to mitigate the trade-off — dynamic ocean management. The approach uses boundaries that are flexible in space and time to manage mobile species and dynamic human activities such as fishing.

The approach is especially needed off the coast of Southern California, where drift gill nets target swordfish using milelong sheets of mesh that hang vertically in the ocean. But the nets can also accidentally snare bycatch species, including sharks, dolphins, whales, sea turtles and sea lions. Of these, the bycatch of loggerhead turtles is an acute problem because not that many are left.

Read the entire article at LAtimes.com