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One Illegal Fishing Net Just Killed 300 Endangered Sea Turtles in Mexico

Why is this kind of thing still happening?

There's been an unbelievable amount of sea turtle deaths lately, and the worst part is that hundreds of the fatalities could have been avoided.

According to CNN, 300 endangered olive ridley turtles were recently found dead off the coast of Mexico. They were caught in an illegal fishing net and drowned, according to local authorities.

When the mass of bodies was found, they'd already been dead for a week.

The photos show the devastation of so many turtles killed at once.

According to Huffington Post, olive ridley turtles nest along the Mexican coast from May to September, which is likely why there were so many in the area.

It's illegal in Mexico to kill sea turtles, and HuffPost reports that authorities are investigating the incident. But they have two cases to investigate, because shortly before the 300 were found, 113 other sea turtles were found dead in a Mexican marine sanctuary, per HuffPost.

The cause of that mass mortality event is still being determined.

The 113 turtles, 102 of which were also olive ridleys, may have died from fishery run-ins as well. According to LiveScience, some had injuries from nets and hooks.

This summer has been a tough one for the sea turtles, who already have enough natural causes of death to contend with. Humans certainly don't need to make their lives harder.

In Florida, endangered turtles are suffering from the red tide, a poisonous algae bloom. Newsweek reported that 400 sea turtles had already died from the tide as of August 4. The harmful effects are expected to last into 2019.

Even more turtles' lives could be claimed before it's over.

NatGeo wants concerned parties to know that, though their numbers aren't in perfect shape, olive ridleys are one of the more abundant sea turtles in Mexico, at least.

"So numerically speaking, this isn't going to trigger a population collapse," marine biologist Bryan Wallace told NatGeo. "It does, of course, act as an alarm bell."

With the uphill battle sea turtles face due to poisonous algae, accidental plastic consumption and more, we really don't need to add mass fishing-equipment-related deaths to the list.

Here's hoping this is the last tragic event of this nature. The turtles deserve better.

300 sea turtles dead


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