Sea turtle strandings and shrimp fishing effort in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, 1986-89.
Incidental capture of sea turtles in shrimp trawls is the most important human cause of sea turtle mortality. Sea turtle strandings along coastal shorelines of the southeastern United States have been used as one index of mortality due to shrimping. An increase in sea turtle strandings during commercial penaeid shrimp fishing seasons and a decrease with the closing of these seasons have been observed on the Atlantic coast of the southeastern United States. The relationship between sea turtle strandings and shrimp fishing in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico is discussed in this article.