More Than 300 Endangered Turtles Found Dead In Illegal Fishing Net

Almost 300 endangered turtles have been found dead after becoming trapped in an illegal fishing net along Mexico's southern Pacific coast.

According to the office for environmental protection, the turtles - called Olive Ridley turtles - drowned after becoming tangled in the net, which was found abandoned.

An official statement said that the turtles had been dead for eight days and were decomposed when they found near Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.

Locals first spotted the turtles in the net, which was reported to have been dumped by a group of illegal fishermen and called authorities to alert them of the find.

A team of officials and volunteer rescuers entered the waters in an attempt to retrieve the net using a system of support cables to drag the dead turtles to shore without dropping any into the water.

Credit: Twitter / ProtecciónCivilOax
Credit: Twitter / ProtecciónCivilOax

The net was found to be 393ft long, a size which is not approved for fishing in that area, but which was reportedly used on vessel fishing for tuna, according to the Mexico Daily News.

One fisherman told the news outlet the net didn't belong to a local, with others claiming it was from a foreign boat.

In a video of the retrieval efforts one of the men can be heard saying: "Believe me, it's an unbearable smell.

"As human beings the question we ask ourselves today is how far have we come?"

Credit: Twitter / ProtecciónCivilOax
Credit: Twitter / ProtecciónCivilOax

A federal attorney is now reportedly investigating the deaths.

The Olive Ridley turtles, which are around 75cm in length and weigh about 45kg, lay their eggs on beaches across Mexico between May in September and are, sadly, at a 'high risk' of extinction in the wild.

Mexico, which has six of the world's seven species of sea-turtle, has a programme in place to protect the animals with harsh penalties for those who kill them.

Earlier this month, 102 Olive Ridley turtles were found dead at a sanctuary in Chiapas, Mexico, prompting an investigation by authorities. As well as the Olive Ridley turtles, six hawksbill and five green turtles were also found dead.

Experts are said to be looking into what caused the death, with suffocation, fish hooks and killer algae all being considered.

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Featured Image Credit: Twitter / ProtecciónCivilOax

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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