Experts warn Mexico of high sea turtle mortality rates

Mexico City, Mar 13 (EFE).- International experts have warned President Enrique Peña Nieto that Mexico is experiencing high mortality rates among sea turtles off the coast of the northwestern state of Baja California Sur, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law, or CEMDA, said.

The Marine Turtle Specialist Group, or MTSG, sent a letter to Peña Nieto advising him that Baja California Sur has some of the highest sea turtle death rates in the world, CEMDA said in a statement.

The high mortality rates have been confirmed by both scientists and Mexican government agencies, CEMDA said.

More than 2,000 sea turtles died in 2012, an increase of 600 percent from the already high levels registered in the area over the past few years, CEMDA said.

MTSG experts conducted a study in 2011 to try to determine the state of sea turtles around the world and identified North Pacific turtles as among the most threatened.

The situation has worsened due to high accidental kills associated with small-scale fishing in the Gulf of Ulloa, CEMDA said.

The MTSG belongs to the survival commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, which was formed by more than 7,500 scientists from around the world and seeks to protect current global biodiversity levels.