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Leatherback sea turtle stewardship to attain local, regional, and global marine conservation and managementAuthor(s): Randall Arauz; Todd Steiner
Source: In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 579-581
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (685 B)
DescriptionThe leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest marine reptile with one of the longest known ocean migrations in the world and an important part of marine biodiversity. It is also important to the economies of coastal communities in developing countries, especially in areas where eco-tourism has replaced unsustainable harvest and consumption of turtles and eggs. However, despite increased protection of nesting females, eggs, and hatchlings, Pacific populations have declined 95 percent during the last 20 years due to high adult mortality, caused by coastal gillnetting in South America and industrial pelagic longlining in the high seas, which annually sets approximately two billion hooks worldwide. Scientists project that leatherbacks will go extinct in the region during the next 10 to 30 years if incidental captures and mortalities of juveniles and adults during high seas industrial fishery operations are not greatly reduced. Unfortunately, in spite of the unimpeachable knowledge of the problem of unsustainable fishing practices, no plan has focused on reducing overall fishing efforts in international waters. Stewardship must include implementation of the precautionary principle, proactive efforts on the part of the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), and a greater voice for local communities impacted by activities of high seas industrial fishers.
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CitationArauz, Randall; Steiner, Todd. 2007. Leatherback sea turtle stewardship to attain local, regional, and global marine conservation and management. In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 579-581
Keywordswilderness, biodiversity, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values
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