Bycatch Mortality of Leatherback Turtles in Trinidad's Artisanal Gillnet Fishery
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Although listed globally as critically endangered, leatherback turtles maintain a strong nesting population in Trinidad. Trinidad supports an estimated population of 6,000 nesting females, which despite increased beach protection still face significant risk in the form of coastal gillnets. Incidental captures also impact fishers, who incur financial losses in reduced fishing time from net damage and associated repair costs. During the 2005 nesting season, my project used fisher participation in villages in the northeast region of Trinidad to attempt to measure bycatch levels. The methods used to quantify bycatch are described and results discussed. Challenges encountered during the project are also assessed to plan modifications of project methods to enhance fisher participation and confidence in results.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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