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4 month fishing ban to protect Turtles of BCS

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In an attempt to reduce the mortality rate of loggerhead turtles in the waters of Comondu the Mexican Government has issued a 4 mon ban on fishing in the Gulf of Ulloa.


The endangered loggerhead turtles are an unfortunate bycatch in the nets and longlines of local fisherman as their feeding grounds clash with coastal fishing regions.  


This has been a growing problem over the last 10 years. And the Mexican Government has come under increasing pressure from environmental groups to rectify the situation. There has also been serious talk of a US embargo on the import of Mexican seafood.


SAGARPA (Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food) hope the ban will help resolve the problem. Although they have stated the aim of the ban is to demonstrate fishermen have nothing to do with the death of turtles.


To mitigate the losses that will be incurred by local fisherman the Government has agreed to fixed levels of compensation.


On an environmental note, the waters of Baja California Sur are hugely important for the survival of turtles. Of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, five of them inhabit the seas of Baja California Sur. Of these, four are considered ecologically extinct.


Coincidentally, a Mexican documentary on the preservation of turtles has also hit the headlines this week. “The Primordial Turtle” was shot on various nesting beaches in Comondu, La Paz and Los Cabos.  


The nesting, hatching, releasing and conservation elements are all finely documented. But the film also focuses on the story of Adelita, a turtle that when freed from captivity was tagged with a transmitter enabling the film crew to follow and her journey across the Pacific to Japan.


Produced by Gabriela Kircher and directed by Eduardo Quiroz, the award winning documentary is currently circulating at international film festivals.


"We have more than 150 hours of material and we are looking at the possibility of making a television series with these unreleased recordings, to continue raising awareness about the care and preservation of turtles." shares the Mexican producer.

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