Victoria González Carman
Ph.D. Student, University of Argentina
Research: Identification of Critical Foraging Areas as a Tool to Mitigate Bycatch of Endangered Sea Turtles in Bahía Samborombón, Argentina
Species/Topic: Sea Turtles
Abstract: To address the bycatch problem of marine turtles in Bahía Samborombón (Argentina) this project will use a spatially explicit approach that combines data on the distribution of fishing effort and the distribution of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) derived from satellite telemetry. The project will determine whether there are areas where fishing activities overlap with loggerhead habitat and thus identify Critical Foraging Areas (CFAs) for this species. CFAs are areas highly used by both turtles and fishers and thus, of elevated bycatch risk. Local fishermen, NGOs and government decision-makers will also be provided with decisive tools to design a plan to reduce bycatch of all sea turtle species in Argentina. Implications of this project will go beyond local boundaries, contributing significantly to the conservation of marine biodiversity in the SW Atlantic.