More than 400 dead sea turtles found floating off coast of El Salvador

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Officials have no idea why more than 400 hundred dead sea turtles have been found floating in the waters off El Salvador’s Pacific coast. Late last week, the environmental ministry posted on Twitter that its officers,

“found between 300 and 400 dead sea turtles floating around seven nautical miles offshore from Jiquilisco Bay.”

Most of the turtles were in various stages of decomposing when discovered, and the ministry did not include their species at the time, nor had there been any reasons given why the turtles died. Necropsies were planned to be carried out in order to determine the cause of the deaths.

A similar incident occurred in 2013 in El Salvadore when hundreds of sea turtles were found dead off the coast. At the time, scientists stated their deaths were the result of toxic algae ingested by the turtles. According to IFL Science, the so-called red tides which are reddish brown in color and are comprised of a few species of dinoflagellates, kill manatees, fish, birds and other organisms.

There still remains some speculation that humans could also be partially to blame:

“Some say it could be due to climate change, sea currents or the techniques used by fishermen,” biologist Ivan Rammirez of the Foundation of the Sustainable Development of Nicaragua stated.

Sea turtles have had to survive Hurricane Irma this year which wiped out green and loggerhead turtle nests along the beaches of Florida. In addition to trying to survive hurricanes and algae, sadly the seven species of sea turtles have also had to risk getting entangled in fishing nets and drowning, eating plastics thrown into the sea and climate change. Whatever the reasons, all sea turtles are listed as vulnerable species or are on the endangered list. Hopefully the cause of their deaths will be determined and steps can be taken to avoid this tragic loss of this beautiful sea life.

(Photos of more than 400 dead sea turtles found floating off coast pixabay)

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6 replies
  1. vicki hood says:

    So what are authorities going to do about this ? Endangered species i am sure were involved. but sea turtle deaths are never approved of. Keep us posted.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Sad that these animals are the innocent victims of human and natural disasters. We need to keep being vigilant and continue to protect these animals as best we can.

  3. Cynthia Como says:

    How awful and sad!!! We have a house on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale and many years ago my brother and I were on the beach at night and saw thousands of teeny,tiny baby sea turtles that had just hatched… was truly an amazing site to behold. They are so tiny and grow into such huge adults…..the ones that managed to survive! The babies are eaten up by birds and other creatures,and they lose their way because if there is any kind of lighting along the beach they tend go towards the lighting instead of heading into the ocean. There are very strict rules about lighting on the houses on the beach for this reason and the nests are roped off and protected. My mother and I were walking at dusk one night and saw a huge female up on the beach laying her eggs. They have so much going against them that biologists do all that they can to help them hence the strict rules on lighting and the protection of their nests……this is a very sad story to hear about!


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