‘Turtles Dying As A Result Of Human Activities’

June 30, 2016

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is “urging the public to reduce human impact on sea turtles living in Bermuda’s waters” saying that “turtles are still dying as a result of human activities.”

“Sea turtles have been completely protected by legislation since 1972,” a spokesperson said. “The legislation prohibits direct harvesting and intentional harm but turtles are still dying as a result of human activities.

The two most commonly encountered sea turtles in local waters are the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle.

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Minister of the Environment Cole Simons, said: “Sea turtles can get caught up in fishing line which very often leads to them drowning. They can also be hurt or killed if they get hit by motor boats or jet skis. However, the good news here is that these events are preventable if due care is taken by people out on the water.”

Dr. Mark Outerbridge, Senior Biodiversity Officer said: “The Bermuda Turtle Project reported an increase in the number of green turtles sampled last year, with a record 289 turtles captured and released for research purposes during August 2015.

“This may reflect a growing number of turtles congregating in local waters. However, more sea turtles could lead to more turtle injuries.

“Members of the public can reduce the annual admission rate of injured turtles into the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center as well as the number of turtle deaths by exercising extra caution when enjoying the marine environment.”

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources requests the public’s help in taking the following actions:

  • Boaters are asked to pay careful attention while in locations frequented by turtles – for example, over seagrass meadows
  • Boaters are requested to drive slowly when within 100m of the shoreline, or in areas where turtle warning signs are posted. Polarised sun glasses can help boaters see turtles resting at the surface.
  • Anglers are asked to discard unwanted fishing line in a receptacle onshore rather than throw it into the ocean, and to make an effort to recover any line that has become entangled in the marine environment.
  • Everyone is asked to avoid releasing helium balloons and to carefully dispose of plastic bags because, once in the ocean, both of these can be mistaken for food by turtles. When turtles eat these materials they can lead to serious health complications.

“Sea turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. As few as one out of 1,000 hatchlings are thought to survive to adulthood,” the Department added.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Terry says:

    The elite could give a s***. They come in both colors and ethnic backgrounds.

    This crap did not happen even when Turtles were caught and eaten.

    No one give a crap anymore. Paradise Lake area………elite.

    And yes the fishing line and balloons and soda sickpack holders………………..

    Gonna bite us one day.

    • innna says:

      six u moron… sixpack…. elite, u mean like the ones on halo u poor bie

  2. Bermyman says:

    plastic bird kites anyone?

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    Approximately 25 years ago an overseas trained scuba diver who is no longer on the island dove in a bay (which I won’t name) in the western parishes to look for someone’s lost property.

    The bay adjoins what is an old ferry stop dock which is now a ‘public dock’ and has been used 98% of the time since for fishing from the shore.

    He reported that the entire bottom of the bay was carpeted in one foot deep fishing line , like some sort of man made polyester carpet.
    He was shocked and had never seen anything like it before , anywhere .
    Heavens only knows how bad it is now .

    This same area has a very high concentration of turtles living in it all year ’round .

    • Spectator says:

      The same reason you won’t say the name publicy is why it won’t get cleaned up….

    • Allium Cepa says:

      Please at least name the place.

  4. sage says:

    Ok I will ask the question then, how do they fare against the foils on those AC boats?

  5. Legalgal says:

    Why do we still find motorboats and jet skis coming into Nine Beaches. Such a shame. We should have protected areas…and enforced. The response I got from people their was that it was thee business – bringing in tourists. If the turtles go there be nothing for the tourists. Put them on paddleboards and kayaks. That doesn’t frighten, injure the turtles or damage the turtle grass.

  6. betty says:

    Between 9 beaches and long bay lots of turtles and seen guys trying to fish and catch them someone needs to monitor that area early evenings

  7. Allium Cepa says:

    Regarding the jet skiers, I’m happy there haven’t been any serious human accidents yet though feels like it’s only a matter of time.

    Every time I’ve encountered people riding these on the water they have lacked safety, courtesy and respect of others let alone turtles.

    • sage says:

      Any 16 yr old (with money or friends) can jump on a 300hp supercharged jet ski with no license, insurance , experience or training, that might explain it, at least they don’t have propellers like all the big boats piloted by the same types, no training no insurance, just one more for the road etc. yet TCD (Total Complete Dictators) have refused to re-license motorcycles that were bought legally from a dealer in good faith, No common sense here.

  8. Mr. Meoff says:

    I’m on the water just about every weekend and see turtles all the time. When your motoring at 5 knots in no wake zones and 12 knots outside, you see the turtles surface, breath, and have time to dive out of the way. Now the idiots that travel at full open throttle travelling at 60-80MPH on PWC ,a. Don’t see them, b. could care less and c. the turtles surface yards ahead and can’t get out of the way fast enough and get hit and killed.
    This also goes for persons who travel or show off on high powered racing boats.
    The average Joe Public who’s just cruising around see’s this crap the the time.
    I would agree with plastic and general trash has an effect on turtles but its the speed of the PWC’s and boats that’s responsible for the turtles demise.

    • sage says:

      And what about the AC racing boats/tenders?

  9. bee says:

    it’s all about RESPECT. these people who speed thru have no respect for their country. where are the marine police? perhaps the reserves could be put out on the water to ticket these fools.

  10. Mr. Meoff says:

    Land Lubber Sage,
    Those A/Cups catamaran’s are doing 20knots best and are followed by support craft. Also, more often than not, they race in the heart of the great sound and not close to the shallows where you often see the turtles.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Actually the turtles are everywhere . I’ve seen very large ones in the middle of the Great Sound .

      I guess in a way they’ve made ‘too good a comeback ‘ . They’re all over the place.

    • sage says:

      Some folks just hate the truth, Foil Fest- 50 knots (claimed), turtles aren’t restricted to “the shallows ” either so… I bet no one would even ask them if they have struck turtles anyway, taboo.