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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I moved to new Point area last year after being @ Rapp river much of my life. Fishing last yr I noticed more dead sea turtles than I have seen in my whole life. (and I saw more live sea turtles)

I was thinking boat strikes and then-- I went to Omega's nets.

Per NOAA- "Risks to Sea Turtles-
Purse seining is a non-selective fishing method that captures everything that it surrounds, including protected species.
Sea turtles can be captured by a purse seine as it is set and then become entangled in the net mesh as it is hauled in. Entangled turtles may sustain injuries to their flippers and shells due to the force of the net as it is hauled.
In a large catch, turtles risk being crushed under the sheer weight of the tow. Captured turtles can be released alive if they are quickly retrieved and removed from the net."

Anyway, after VIMS came and got a whale (to see what killed it) that washed up near us, I wondered if -- VIMS is picking up dead turtles to see what killed them?
If they discard bodies in river there it would explain areas , I have seen them. (going out with tides )

Side note, I also observed cobia shadowing sea turtles much the same as I have observed them following skate/rays
 

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http://www.virginiaaquarium.com/conserve/about-the-team

Immediately call the Stranding Response hotline at (757) 385-7575 if you see a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, alive or dead. The hotline is available 24 hours per day, every day of the year. When you call, we will ask for information on the location of the stranded animal, the species (if known), the size, the condition (alive or dead), and a phone number where we can call for further information.
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I have no idea about Omega purse seines catching sea turtles.

Sea turtles are sometimes captured in gill nets and pound nets in the Bay, and vessel strikes are also a problem; pound nets in VA in strong currents have been documented to cause sea turtle mortality..

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/gear/poundnet.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This being new waters to me, I was also surprised by the amount of military ships in area and subs with gunboats really put me on edge! Just like the whale that washed up on Beach, right now, 18"-20" rock-fish are showing up on beach everyday, To neighbors its normal.
I was hoping someone here would say yes, VIMS does pick up dead turtles and put them back in river. I though about calling them and asking, but then, how would they take being asked, Are you dumping dead turtles in river?
Unlike those dead turtles, I'm not trying to "raise a stink" just something different to me and I hope to always be learning.
BTW, for a while it was 1 to 2 per week.
 

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Guess the sympathy is relevant to the species & location... Go far enough up Mob Jack Bay and they have many legal turtle traps... Of course it looked like snapper turtles in the trap but hell a turtle is a turtle right?
 

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a turtle is a turtle right?
Not exactly. Snapping turtles are legally harvested for food and are managed by State fish and wildlife agencies like VA DGIF and MD DNR.

Sea turtles are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are managed in the United States by US Dept of Commerce NOAA/NMFS and by US Dept of Interior US Fish and Wildlife Service per the requirements of the ESA (Congress mandated the ESA that was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973; the Executive Branch federal agencies implement the law).

http://www.fws.gov/endangered/laws-policies/

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/laws/esa/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_Species_Act

http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/endoceanseaturtles/

http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/sea-turtle

http://www.conserveturtles.org/seaturtleinformation.php?page=whycareaboutseaturtles
 

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Sea turtle interactions with commercial fishing gear is a big deal. I did not read through all of the links that SteveL posted but I do know that there were lots of restrictions on pound nets near the mouth of the bay because of turtle interactions. I am pretty sure that this is the only restriction in Virginia.

1 to 2 dead sea turtles (flippers) per day would probably be a big deal to the federal regulators. Other turtles (the kind with feet) are still a state matter.

There has been a push by VIMS to protect terrapins from drowning in crab pots. They have been pushing to put turtle excluders on all recreational pots. Turtle excluders are rectangular plastic openings that are wired into the entrance funnels. I keep pushing back that they need to decide on areas that are in need of protection and put the requirements on all pots in those areas not just recreational pots. The fundamental problem that I have with turtle excluders is the fact that large (#1 plus) can not fit into a pot that is equipped with turtle excluders.
 

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All stationary style gill nets should be banned in the bay!! Such a waste of sea life, trapped and wasted!!
Only NON stationary gill nets should be allowed and then those should be limited to length and time in water.
 
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