The Beacon

Blog Tags: Sea Turtle Strandings

Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whales Communicate to Feed at Night, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Sundarbans Mangroves, and More

Humpback whales feed with "tick-tock" noises at night

A humpback whale feeding. New research shows humpback whales make “tick-tock” noises to feed at night. (Photo: Garrett Coakley / Flickr Creative Commons)

- European Union fishery ministers reached agreements on commercial catch regulations for 2015, allowing for increased catches in cod, prawns, plaice, haddock, and more in certain areas. Many conservationists are criticizing the decision, saying it defied scientific advice to decrease many of these catches. The Guardian


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A Tough Winter for Turtles

green sea turtle

A green sea turtle at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Island, NC. The center often takes in cold-stunned turtles. © Jeff Janowski/Oceana

This winter has been a doozy around the country, and not just for humans. On Tuesday, The Miami Herald published a letter to the editor from Oceana's chief scientist Mike Hirshfield on the effect of this year's harsh winter on sea turtles. Check it out:

Officials are calling this one of the worst years on record for sea turtle strandings in the United States. Approximately 2,500 sea turtles have been found wounded or dead as a result of cold-stunning in the increasing frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Volunteers are busily scouring the coastline for sea turtles that can be rehabilitated and eventually released back into the wild, and rescue centers are becoming inundated with sea turtles fighting for survival.

To a scientist, it all makes perfect, if unfortunate, sense. Cold-blooded reptiles like sea turtles are simply unable to warm themselves in cold water. While sea turtles are commonly found in northern U.S. waters during the summer and early fall, they typically migrate to warmer climates by late October. Unfortunately, not all of them made it out before the area temperatures dropped to unbearable levels, and with a winter like we are having, it is bound to be a deadly scenario.


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