Loggerhead sea turtle caught in gillnet during modified gear testing
On 30th July, a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) was caught in a gillnet set by the research team assessing the effectiveness of modified fishing gear on the reduction of sea turtle bycatch. The sea turtle was caught in one of the control gillnets that were not equipped with LED light deterrents. Sadly, it was brought up dead and standard recovery techniques could not be applied to help the animal. This was the first bycaught sea turtle recorded during the testing of visual deterrents as a measure of fisheries impact mitigation. While unfortunate, the capture of this loggerhead showcases the need for the application of fishing gear modifications and other tools at our disposal that will lower mortality rates in coastal fisheries. Data gathered in our research will prove valuable in providing a scientific background for the enforcement of such measures.