[Coral-List] Northwest Hawaiian Islands

Douglas Fenner dfenner at blueskynet.as
Tue Mar 15 14:49:10 EST 2005

One little thing I'd like to add to the discussion on the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).  And that is that the green sea turtle populations in Hawaii are increasing, and have been for some time.  Green sea turtles nest in the NWHI, where some adults feed, and some of the adults go to the Main Hawaiian islands (MHI) to feed.  This isolated Hawaiian population has responded to total protection by not only an end to the decreases that threaten them, but by a rebounding, recovering population.  To me, this shows that sea turtle protection can really work.  If we can really totally protect sea turtles throughout their ranges, this can not only stop their slide toward exctinction (which for hawksbills and leatherbacks is particularly dangerous I understand), but they can actually recover healthy populations.  The solutions are there, they work, now the time has come to do it around the world!
     As a side note, TED's (Turtle Exclusion Devices) on shrimp boats not only save turtle lives, they save the boat owners money and increase safety.  The TEDs exclude sharks, which means that when the catch is released on the boat deck, the crew doesn't have to deal with a potentially dangerous large shark.  The fact that turtles, large sharks and other large objects are excluded from the net keeps these large objects from crushing shimp in the net.  Whole shrimp sell at a higher price than broken ones, so the shrimp boats actually make more money using TEDs.  At least that is the experience in Australia.    -Doug

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