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LEATHERBACK GUARDIANS: CREW OF THE VOYAGER I TO THE RESCUE FOR MARINE TURTLES TRAVELING THROUGH COLOMBIAN WATERS.

LEATHERBACK GUARDIANS: CREW OF THE VOYAGER I TO THE RESCUE FOR MARINE TURTLES TRAVELING THROUGH COLOMBIAN WATERS.

Crew of the vessel “Voyager I” rescuing a marine turtle that was incidentally captured in longline gear. Foto: Juan Pablo Duarte

Date: 11 June  2023
Author: Juan Manuel Rguez-Barón and Velkiss Gadea.
Nomination made by: JUSTSEA Foundation.

Marine turtles, especially the leatherback, that travel through the area near Tumaco, Colombia, can count on five guardians that crew the vessel “Voyager I”, led by captain Oscar Orobio Barreiro, and his four crewmates Agapito Castro Obregón, Gilberto González, Gleisen Castro Campo y Ali Aguiño, all of whom have been fishermen for many years.

Juan Manuel Rguez-Barón, Director of the organización JUSTSEA, has had the pleasure of knowing Captain Oscar and his crew for 8 years, since they attended a workshop of best fisheries practices for the handling and release of marine turtles and birds. “This workshop would be the moment when our communication and good relationships became permanently connected with JUSTSEA, and was the beginning of our collaboration and work together.”

Five marine turtle Guardians: The fishing crew receive training on rescue and handling of marine turtles, with the support of JUSTSEA Foundation. Foto: Juan Pablo Duarte

 

On March 16th, 2023, Oscar and crew rescued and released a leatherback turtle incidentally captured in fishing gear. In addition, the Guardians have reported dozens of interactions with turtles, sharks, rays, and birds, which have allowed for an updated analysis of bycatch impacts on these species in an area that was lacking any such information prior to 2016.

The crew of the Voyager I are ambassadors and examples in their region of how best practices can be rewarded in new markets for fish caught using responsible fishing practices and gears.

Link to video:

https://youtu.be/8LHuE6lWYaY

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The Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtle Conservation Network started in 2012 when over thirty researchers, NGOs, and regional experts came together to develop an action plan to stabilize and restore the leatherback turtle population in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
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