New Threat To Baby Sea Turtles Revealed – Presence Of Jetties Means Higher Likelihood Of Becoming Fish Food·
New research has revealed that marine turtle hatchlings entering the ocean close to jetties have a high likelihood of being eaten.
The study, published today in Biological Conservation, found structures such as jetties are an attractive shelter for hungry fish as they lie in wait for an easy evening meal.
Lead author Phillipa Wilson, a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Western Australia (jointly supervised through the Australian Institute of Marine Science), said the study provides evidence that jetties near turtle nesting beaches increase the predation of turtle hatchlings.
“Jetties attract large numbers of predatory fish, such as mangrove jack. They provide an artificial shelter for the fish, and when located near turtle nesting beaches can greatly increase the threat to hatchlings,” she said.
“Nearly three quarters of the hatchlings entering the sea for the first time were taken by fish while still close to shore. This means that baby turtles were seven times more likely to be preyed upon than at a beach nearby with no jetty”
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