In Tumbes (north Peru), 5 species of endangered sea turtles are highly threatened, facing a worrying mortality. From January to October 2008, my organization, “Proyecto Tortugas Marinas”, has registered over 200 stranded sea turtles in Tumbes’ beaches. Many of these animals are thought to have drowned by interaction with artisanal fishing nets. Furthermore, sea turtle ornamental use in the area is common and consumption of sea turtle meat and fat is extremely frequent.
A forum organized by our organization and the Regional Government of Tumbes, led local townspeople to diagnose that domestic contamination at sea is also a main problem for sea turtles in Tumbes, as these and other species die eating these residues. Forum conclusions determined that environmental problems in the area are mainly caused by lack of environmental awareness and lack of alternative economic activities for fishermen.