Going through the mountain of archives we have here I thought I would release this old video of an illegal long liner who was going to ship a turtle to market. Back then the long liners all claimed they had permission to catch sharks and that they always released the turtles. This boat actually had a permit from CRIPS to be using long lines since they were involved in a study using long lines. According to the protocol of the study the turtles were supposed to be released but as you can see in the video the fisherman had the turtle coiled up and was simply waiting to retrieve the rest of his gear and then go to market. We spend all day looking for long liners and I remember clearly from the day that we saw a plasic bottle floating in the water and I thought we should go up wind of the bottle. Sure enough we found this line and this turtle. The fisherman were pissed off that they had been caught but with the camera rolling they helped us to release the turtle.
Turtle caught on illegal long line is releasedAs I go through my archives of footage over the years I found this video which we shot in the early 2000’s. Most likely around 2001. Back then the illegal long lining industry was still in full swing and still heavily fishing dorado. There is currently no long line dorado fishery out of Guaymas for the simple fact that dorado are not found in sufficient numbers anymore to make it viable to commercially fish them. A scientific study by Cibnor in 2006 showed that the dorado long line fishery had a huge incidental by catch for Marine turtles. 20% actually so for every 10 dorado that were caught on a long line two marine turtles were caught as well. This panga was participating in a study of long lines and was supposed to release the turtle. As you can see in the video the fisherman or ribereño as we say in Spanish had no intention of releasing the turtle. He was going to take it to market. A turtle of this size would have made him several hundred dollars on the black market in Guaymas.
Posted by Worlds Aquarium working to save the Sea of Cortes on Saturday, August 15, 2015