Mexican environmental authorities have found 300 golfina turtles, a species threatened with extinction, floating dead in Mexican Pacific waters, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection reported on Wednesday (August 29th, 2018).
“They died drowned about eight days ago because they were immobilized in banned fishing nets,” added the officials. The corpses “were in an advanced state of decomposition,” he said. To avoid any risk of contamination, the dead bodies were buried in two pits.
This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. On August 17, 2018, the Mexican government reported that 122 turtles were found dead on beaches in the state of Chiapas. About 10% of the corpses showed signs of blows to the head and the carapace.
Authorities said they were stepping up efforts to combat the turtles’ capture on the beaches of Chiapas. Mexico has banned the capture of sea turtles since 1990 and their trafficking is punishable by nine years in prison. Nevertheless an illegal trade of their eggs persists. The turtle eggs are used in the traditional cuisine of the indigenous peoples of the south of the country and are also given aphrodisiac properties.
In addition to fishing nets, plastic bags and global warming are endangering marine turtle populations around the globe.