Pacific leatherback sea turtles have survived ice ages, major volcanic events, meteor impacts, and most every predator in the sea. But their nearly 100 million years on this planet could come to an end because of a simpler but deadlier foe: string.
A government agency is currently considering reopening the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area year round to drift gillnet vessels. Gillnet are huge nets — long enough to loop around a football field six times — that trap and drown air-breathing marine animals.
Back in 2001, a three-month drift gillnet closure was put in place to allow leatherback turtles to safely migrate and feed off the coast of California. The closure has been so effective that no leatherback turtles have been reported drowned in the entire fishery since protections were put in place. But why let a little thing like success stop the gov from re-opening the area?
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