Thursday, July 29, 2010

Drowning Turtles Because We Can

It's just too bad humans are so human.

It's a small mystery right now what is causing sea turtle deaths in the Gulf of Mexico. The obvious culprit of BP's toxic plumes is not showing itself as obvious. Many dead turtles appear to have drowned, which is common when caught in fishing nets. That's why nets have escape hatches for turtles, and these hatches are required in many fishing areas.

Speculation by those that know much more about the fishery and the people using (abusing) it is that the increase in dead sea turtles is due to fishermen not using the escape hatches because they can get away with it -- the enforcers are too busy dealing with the Gulf disaster to notice. Of course, it's not all fishermen doing this and it's unproven.

If true, and I imagine it is in more than a few cases, how plainly disturbing. The myth of the enlightened hunter, the seafarer who knows the resource like a family member and treats it with respect and dignity, dies hard.

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