Mexico releases 100,000 endangered sea turtles

A Mexican conservation group released more than 100,000 sea turtles into the ocean last year, in an effort to save a species threatened by egg poachers and fishing nets.

The olive ridley sea turtles, known as "golfina" in Spanish, were released off the beaches of Mexico's Baja California peninsula on the Pacific coast, the Association to Protect Sea Turtles said Thursday.

Some 1,300 egg nests were also protected last year, 320 more than in 2011. Almost 70,000 golfinas were released off Baja California in 2011.

"We had very good results this season, and we reached our objective," Carla Sanchez, the organization's director of projects, told AFP at a meeting of turtle conservationists in the Baja resort town of Los Cabos.

The olive ridley is a small sea turtle that can measure 71 centimeters (2.3 feet) and weigh up to 45 kilograms (100 pounds). It is one of six species of sea turtles living in Mexico.

The golfina population dropped from an estimated 89,000 in the 1940s to fewer than than 8,000 in the 1980s, when conservation efforts were launched in Mexico and Honduras.