Loggerhead turtles are among the most threatened marine megafauna worldwide, mainly because fishery-related incidental captures. The northern Adriatic Sea is one of the most overfished basins of the Mediterranean Sea and it supports a very valuable marine biodiversity, including sea turtles.
This study assessed the spatial and seasonal impact of the northern Adriatic midwater pair trawl fishery on loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) by examining incidental catches recorded between 2006 and 2018 and environmental variables.
The results show that most bycatch events of loggerhead turtle occurred in the northern Adriatic Sea. The authors highlight that the results of the study confirm that the northern Adriatic may be an important foraging area for loggerhead turtles.
The study stresses the urgent need for a better understanding of the interactions between sea turtles and fisheries to develop and apply suitable, ad hoc management measures in critical habitats.
Pulnicella et al. (2019) Bycatch of Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Italian Adriatic midwater pair trawl fishery. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:365.