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Scientists call for protected 'swimways' for the endangered leatherback sea turtle
Date:10/17/2008

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Conservation Congress this week adopted a resolution urging nations to protect the leatherback sea turtle and sharks from the world's industrial fisheries by identifying and creating marine protected areas along the Pacific leatherback's migratory routes. More than 8,000 scientists, government officials and environmental organizations from over 250 nations overwhelmingly supported the resolution, which includes the "Cocos Ridge Marine Wildlife Corridor," designed to shield the critically endangered Pacific leatherback and the hammerhead shark from longline and gillnet fisheries. Recent satellite tracking data from Stanford University researchers shows that after nesting on the beaches in Playa Grande, Costa Rica, Pacific leatherbacks swim toward the Galapagos Islands.

See a copy of the IUCN resolution: http://portal.worldconservationcongress.org/motions/Motions%20Publication%20Library/028-EN-Conservation%20of%20leatherback%20turtles%20and%20hammerhead%20sharks%20in%20the%20eastern%20tropical%20Pacific%20marine%20corridor.pdf

Randall Arauz, President of Costa Rican-based PRETOMA that sponsored the resolution explained, "Our plan allows one of the largest reptiles on Earth to continue its 100-million-year-old existence by opening and closing portions of the migration corridor to fishing as turtles enter and exit the area." He added, "We believe this corridor is also used by other endangered species, such as hammerhead sharks and would benefit many other threatened marine species."

The resolution employs scientific recommendations based upon fieldwork and analyses by Stanford researcher, George Shillinger and an international te
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Contact: George Shillinger
georges@stanford.edu
202-549-0987
Census of Marine Life
Source:Eurekalert

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