Use of satellite telemetry to determine ecology and management of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) during the nesting season in Georgia
Scott, Jason A.
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Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) populations are threatened across the distribution, and susceptible to high adult mortality in neritic zone habitats. Commercial fisheries, especially shrimp trawling, are believed to exact heavy losses on the adult loggerhead population within these habitats. Yet, little is known about how commercial shrimp trawler fleets interact with adult loggerhead populations cross temporal and spatial scales. Observations of distribution and movement patterns for adult female loggerhead turtle and the commercial shrimp trawl fishery were made during the 2004 and 2005 nesting seasons in Georgia. Comparisons between the distributions were used to produce potential management scenarios (closures and fleet reductions) designed to reduce the likelihood of interactions. Through application of predictive modeling, spatial closures were identified to have only limited merits as management options, whereas fleet reductions were most likely to produce actual decreases in interactions between turtles and shrimp trawlers during nesting seasons.