When I was writing my book “Voyage of the Turtle,” my focus was on the sumo wrestler among sea turtles, the gigantic Leatherback that can weigh a ton. But through my travels, concern about another species, the Loggerhead Turtle, also kept recurring.
Two recent publications merit attention: 1) a new five-year global review of the Loggerhead Turtle by the U.S. government, and 2) a new paper about incidental catch of Loggerheads in Pacific Baja, Mexico, by Hoyt Peckham and several academic colleagues. [see: www.fws.gov/northflorida/SeaTurtles/2007-Reviews/2007-Loggerhead-turtle-5-year-review-final.pdf AND www.plosone.org Search there for: S. Hoyt Peckham, David Maldonado Diaz, Andreas Walli, Georgita Ruiz, L.B. Crowder, and Wallace J. Nichols, Small-scale fisheries bycatch jeopardizes endangered Pacific Loggerhead turtles. PLoS ONE]
When I started going offshore frequently off Long Island in the 1980s, Loggerhead Turtles were in decline. But in the 1990s, their nesting numbers rose considerably on U.S. east coast beaches. In South Florida, for example, Loggerhead nesting populations had grown about 4 percent per year in the 1990s.