04 March 2013

Awesome Non-fish in Trouble # 3: Loggerhead sea turtle, a survivor

Natural predation is the common cause of mortality of Caretta caretta, commonly called loggerhead sea turtle, as any other species. An example of which is the case of Yu Chan. She was caught in a Japanese fisherman's net and was brought in Suma Aqualife Park near Kobe, Japan in 2008. Her front flippers were torn off because of a shark attack, based on the teeth marks across her body. Fortunately, after many trials, she now has artificial limbs which she cannot take off easily and that she can swim with [1].

Disabled loggerhead turtle Yu Chan fitted with prosthetic flippers, photo by Toshifumi Kitamura, AFP.

Other major factors that resulted in their dramatic decline in number were incidental fishery catches, egg harvest and tourism developments [2]. Thus, they have been marked by the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) as threatened in 1978 and endangered since 1996 [3].

To know more about loggerhead sea turtles, visit SeaLifeBase.


[1] Potter, N. Loggerhead sea turtle gets artificial flippers after shark attack. ABC News. Published online February 12, 2013.

[2] de Quevedo, I.A., L. Cardona, A. De Haro, E. Pubill, and A. Aguilar. 2010. Sources of bycatch of loggerhead sea turtles in the western Mediterranean other than drifting longlines. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 67(4):677-685.

[3] IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012.

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