|A shocking and gruesome sight - 11/04/2012|
|A shocking and gruesome spectacle was experienced by the divers of the Thessaloniki Dive Club when exploring the sea bottom outside Paliouri Peninsula in Halkidiki; in a depth of 35 meters they recognized something swinging strangely in the distance. Approaching they discovered that it was the decayed body of a sea turtle suspended by an anchored fishing line. Evidently the turtle has been caught in a long-line and not being able to reach the surface for breathing had an agonizing death.|
The event, documented and photographed by the TDC divers, exhibits once more the growing problem of interaction between fisheries and turtles. Indeed, the data of ARCHELON Stranding Network show an increasing number of dead turtles, reported every year either from entanglement in nets and lines or from intentional killings.
During 2011 more than 450 dead turtles were recorded nationwide. Unfortunately, it is estimated that this figure represents only 15% of the actual number of deaths, as many carcasses may land in inaccessible sites or drift offshore.
It is now a common knowledge that the increase of dead turtles is caused by the depletion of marine resources which force sea turtles as well as sea mammals (dolphins, whales, monk seals) to become antagonistic to fishers. This is so because the depletion of marine resources was not caused by these animals, which existed long ago and in much larger numbers than today’s, but it is rather caused by human activities like over-fishing, fishing by dynamite and other catastrophic methods, and pollution.