Training fishermen on the best techniques to handle and release incidentally captured sea turtles.
Six out of every seven sea turtle species are endangered.
Although the decrease in sea turtle populations has been attributed to several causes (consumption of their eggs, coastal development and destruction of their nesting habitat), the main issue with conservation is different fishing techniques that incidentally capture sea turtles.
Since 2008, the main objective of these trainings is to equip fishermen from different countries like Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, USA, Mexico, Italy or Spain, among others, with the best handling and release techniques for these animals to reduce associated mortality. This has a direct impact on sea turtle populations.
The trainings have a clear positive impact, and have become a requirement in an increasing number of countries, such as the EUA and Costa Rica.
SUBMON has a great deal of veterinary knowhow with sea turtles and experience on board fishing ships all over the world. The trainings the entity provides fishermen in different countries are always adapted to the local reality, bearing in mind types of fishing and the tools available in different communities.
Combining on-site work on board the ships (whether longline, trawl or trammel) with our veterinary experience means that our team can analyze the processes that fishermen use when handling sea turtles, extracting hooks or untangling them from nets and reviving them.
This helps us to better understand the problem. The fact that we are aware of the fishermen’s reality means that we can recommend a series of techniques adapted to their reality and the fishing methods used in each zone.
This project was developed the support of NOAA, WWF, UE, ISFF, OFCF, IATTC.
At SUBMON, we believe that successful, efficient action is based on trust and respect.
The most important thing with this kind of training is to adapt to them and to provide practical, realistic solutions. To carry out trainings in different fishing communities in different countries, it is vital that the training be imparted by professionals who are aware of the cultural and social reality of the fishermen with whom they are working.