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Turtle Island Restoration Network

Sea Turtle Restoration Project | Turtle Island Restoration Network eNewsletter

 Big Win for Gulf Turtles - Driftnet Area Closure - Hammerheads Listed - Whale Shark Expedition

JULY 2014

Turtle Island Helps Win Gulf Loggerhead
Sea Turtles Room to Roam 

Loggerhead sea turtles were first declared endangered in 1978, yet their critical habitat was never protected as required by the Endangered Species Act, a law designed to "protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend." Turtle Island Restoration Network and other conservation groups sued the government in 2013 seeking stronger protections for endangered loggerhead sea turtles.

As a direct result of the lawsuit, the federal government designated the largest "critical habitat" area in history as protected loggerhead sea turtle habitat. The designation includes 685 miles of beaches from Mississippi to North Carolina and more than 300,000 square miles of ocean on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Read More →


First Shark Added to U.S. Endangered Species List 

Turtle Island's Research Contributes to Increased Protections for Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks

This month the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) added the first shark, the scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), to the U.S. Endangered Species list due in part to Turtle Island Restoration Network’s research and public comments.

Four of six Distinct Population Segments (DPS) of scalloped hammerhead sharks were listed. The Indo-West Pacific DPS and Central/SW Atlantic DPS were listed as threatened, and the Eastern Atlantic DPS and Eastern Pacific DPS were listed as endangered. Threats to hammerheads include the shark fin trade and "incidental catch" in a variety of fishing gear like longlines and driftnets.

Turtle Island has observed and studied the Eastern Pacific distinct population segment of scalloped hammerhead sharks for years. These sharks aggregate at core “hot spots” in the Cocos Islands near Costa Rica and by the Galapagos Islands. They can travel long distances but show fidelity to these spots, often within protected marine reserves. However, there is evidence of illegal fishing and longlining within the reserves, and the Eastern Pacific DPS is considered at a "high risk for extinction now and in the foreseeable future." This listing is the first step to protecting these unique sharks.


Driftnet Fishery Restricted During El Niño to Save Pacific Loggerhead Sea Turtles

In response to a lawsuit brought by Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Marine Fisheries Service is seasonally closing off the 25,000-square-mile Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area near Southern California to the deadly driftnet fishery for swordfish and thresher shark.

The area closure, which runs from July 25 through August 31, will prevent entanglements and drownings of endangered loggerhead sea turtles in driftnet fishing gear during El Niño conditions. The warm El Niño waters attract the endangered loggerhead sea turtles to the same area where the fishery operates. This closure ensures that Pacific loggerhead sea turtles will be protected in California's coastal waters during this year's El Niño event. 

Learn More →

Galapagos Whale Shark Expedition

Turtle Island set sail for the Galapagos with Jonathan Green, the Charles Darwin Foundation and El Parque Nacional Galapagos. The Galapagos Whale Shark Project crew sailed to Darwin Island on Monday night. From here they will be attempting to place satellite tags on the sharks as they migrate through the islands. An El Niño event is on the way, and the team expects to see changes in migratory routes.

Follow us on Facebook to get the latest expedition updates and find out more about whale sharks!

Support Us

Turtle Island's Sea Turtle Restoration Project protects and restores all seven species of sea turtles through hard-hitting advocacy and innovative on-the-ground efforts. Show your support by making a donation today!


Four Star Charity

Charity Navigator, a guide to responsible giving and one of the most used independent evaluators of charities, has awarded Turtle Island Restoration Network the highest prestigious 4-star rating for financial effectiveness and transparency. Donations to Turtle Island, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit are tax-deductible. 

Cocos Island Expedition Update from Graduate Student Elena Nalesso

Turtle Island Restoration Network is sponsoring graduate student Elena Nalesso in her efforts to better understand the sharks of the Cocos Islands. Elena is currently completing her thesis on the island’s hammerhead sharks and recently returned from her first Cocos Island Expedition from June 22nd to July 5th with Turtle Island, Fins Attached and PRETOMA. On the trip Elena completed 22 dives and assisted with research efforts to track and monitor sharks.

Read More → 



Internships

Help us protect marine wildlife, wild oceans, and our backyard rivers and streams!

Find Internships →

Upcoming Events

Turtle Island Board Member Dr. Wallace J. Nichols Talks About his NEW book, Blue Mind - Sausalito, California -Aug. 5, 2014

Summer Salmon Institute: FREE Training for Teachers - Olema, California - August 13-17, 2014

17th Annual Coho Confab
Rock Creek Ranch, CA
August 22-24, 2014

Cocos Island Turtle & Shark Tagging Expedition - Costa Rica - Dec. 9 - 19, 2014

Life's a Beach Triathlon  - Galveston, Texas - Oct. 4, 2014

Volunteer at the Native Plant Nursery - Olema, California - Every Friday

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