Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hold That Sea Turtle Jig

Sightings of the rare leatherback turtle are up in the Irish Sea. That's great, isn't it? The conservationists can do a little celebratory jig. Not so fast.

The area may not be ready to deal with the still-endangered turtles. Do the fishermen in that area protect against turtles if they rarely see them in their nets or waters? Doubtful. Seems the turtles may be outside their green zone.

Plus, the two theories as to why leatherbacks are invading the chilly waters off the Emerald Isle are not so promising. One is the excess of jellyfish in the same waters (possibly due to overfishing their predators).

The other reason is due to "collapses in the populations of predatory fish such as tuna and sharks," according to turtle specialist Dr Peter Richardson. 

This is how ecosystems get out of whack, and yes, humans are often at the center of the imbalance. Sorry to spoil the party.

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