ESR 10:165-179 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00199

Confronting the gauntlet: understanding incidental capture of green turtles through fine-scale movement studies

Catherine M. McClellan*, Andrew J. Read

Division of Marine Science and Conservation, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 135 Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA

ABSTRACT: We conducted a 2 yr study of small juvenile green sea turtles Chelonia mydas in an estuary in North Carolina, USA, to examine how turtle behavior affected their vulnerability to incidental capture in an artisanal gill net fishery. We used sonic and satellite telemetry to track the movements and habitat use of 10 green turtles during the summers of 2005 and 2006. Individual turtles established summer foraging sites and showed very strong fidelity to particular tidal creeks and marsh islands. Turtles were strongly associated with seagrass habitat and were easily disturbed by natural and anthropogenic activity. We found that green turtles and gill net fishers exhibited similar habitat preferences, leading to the potential for entanglement, a finding corroborated by 8 yr of by-catch records. Individual turtles interacted with multiple gears during our study as a result of fishing activity in their small home ranges.


KEY WORDS: By-catch · Gill nets · Telemetry · Sea turtles


Full text in pdf format  
Cite this article as: McClellan CM, Read AJ (2009) Confronting the gauntlet: understanding incidental capture of green turtles through fine-scale movement studies. Endang Species Res 10:165-179. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00199

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -