From: Associated Press
Published June 28, 2006 12:00 AM

Guyana Sets Up Fishing Restrictions to Help Endangered Sea Turtles

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Guyana has banned fishermen from spreading large nets off its northeastern coastline after more than two dozen dead sea turtles washed up on beaches, officials said Tuesday.

Guyana's fisheries ministry established the restrictions, designed to protect the endangered sea turtles, after environmental wardens reported finding the carcasses of the large turtle species on northeastern beaches.

The fishing ban covers a 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of turtle-rich waters.

Several species of endangered turtles, including the giant leatherback, which can grow to be 8-feet (2.4-meters) long and weigh up to 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms), nest on Guyanese beaches each year. Big turtle species are sliding toward extinction worldwide.

A local marine turtle conservation society helped the government establish the ban on large nets, which often inadvertently trap the giant turtles and further threaten their fragile populations, society spokeswoman Michelle Kalamandee said.

Source: Associated Press

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