In the name of science, federal researchers deploy dead sea turtles in Gulf of Mexico
In the name of science, federal researchers are « deploying » dead sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. They hope to learn how many carcasses will end up back on the shore, and how many will be reported.
The National Marine Fisheries Service said Friday (June 23) that its Mississippi laboratory in Bay St. Louis is conducting a sea turtle stranding study throughout 2017. « Sea turtle carcasses released in federal and state waters will be used to determine the percent of carcasses that actually strand on northern Gulf of Mexico beaches and also the percent of strandings reported to the Stranding Network.
The agency, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said it plans every two weeks to deploy six to nine carcasses, primarily green sea turtles, and three to six wooden effigies of turtles at three sites in the Mississippi Sound and nearby federal waters. « The effigies are spray-painted neon colors, and all sea turtles have tags in both rear flippers, » the agency said. « All carcasses and effigies will have a GPS satellite transmitter attached so that their location is known. »
The objects might drift back to shore and be found on public beaches or private property. Anyone finding a carcass or effigy should not disturb it, the agency said, but should photograph it, note the location and notify: