Preventing sea turtles from getting caught up in fishing nets

As the Mediterranean Sea is the world’s most overfished sea, it also has the highest sea turtle by-catch rate. TARTALIFE reduced the numbers of sea turtles being caught up in fishing nets along 15 Italian coastal areas. They encouraged 1 290 local fishermen to use circular hooks instead of traditional sharper ones. This reduced the number of sea turtles being caught by up to 40%. The team also used ultraviolet-LED lamps as a deterrent, collapsible fish pots to replace nets, and special turtle excluder devices, which stopped turtles from being accidentally captured. They launched a ‘Turtle Safe’ quality certification for fishing vessels. Nearly one million tourists were targeted through 6 000 events, boosting awareness of the challenges the sea turtle faces.

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Scienze Marine
Italy (interest for replication from institutions in Slovenia, France, Croatia and US)