Fishing Hobby Becoming Hazardous for Sea Turtles


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Nov 18, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Suburban-life in Salem, Oregon
Fishing Hobby Becoming Hazardous for Sea Turtles
S. Padre Island, TX, 8/30/16

A popular activity at South Padre Island is putting an endangered species at risk. Sea Turtle Inc. said they are seeing more cases of sea turtles getting tangled up in fishing lines.
One of the hotspots for fishermen at the island is the Jetties. It’s also an area where they are finding the most turtles being entangled.
More than 100 sea turtle rescues are made every year. Jeff George with Sea Turtle Inc. said about 15 percent of turtle rescues this year were from fishing lines. He said it’s a significant increase from past years.
“In the Laguna Madre and in the Jetties, we need to be more careful about out discarded line. We need to take it home with us. We need to take it in our pockets, because it works its way to the ocean,” he said.
George said it can be linked to the increase in recreational fishing. It’s a hobby local fishermen, like Abram Aleman, are noticing.
“It gets packed. If it’s a cheap head season, you’re going to see everybody here,” said Aleman.
The increase in fishing activity is now having an impact on the endangered sea turtles that go to the island to either nest or forage for food.
“You’ll notice that this turtle is missing a flipper. This is a recent amputation,” said George. “We are seeing more and more turtles coming to our hospital that are entangled in discarded fishing line.”
Aleman said he always makes sure he picks up his lines, but not everyone follows the clear rules posted on signs all over the island.
“(If) a turtle gets entangled in the line, it starts to swim away. And of course the harder it fights, the tighter the line gets around the shoulder and cuts the circulation. And ultimately that flipper will die or become necrotic or dead tissue,” said George.
George said their crews help nurse the turtles back to health, but their problems are far from over.
“Turtles with three flippers are still released back into the ocean. We feel that they do have a chance, but their chances of becoming breeding adults are far lower than if they had all four flippers,” he said.
George said he hopes people who come to fish make sure they properly clean up when they leave.
South Padre Island has several locations where people can dispose of their fishing line. One of them is at the Jetties. George said it’s also important for people to throw away their trash, like plastic, because a sea turtle may mistake it for food.


Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Sad isn't it how humans are so lazy. Just pick up your garbage instead of leaving it and animals don't get hurt or entangled from it. Just way too simple!

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