Key sites for loggerhead sea turtle protection identified around Mediterranean

Loggerhead sea turtles tend to visit the same three feeding grounds year after year, traveling to the Adriatic region, Tunisian Plateau, and the eastern Mediterranean, according to a new study that examined 25 years of satellite tracking data. As threats to the species increase, scientists say the findings offer policymakers and conservation groups much-needed guidance as to which marine sites should be prioritized for protection.

The study found that nearly half of nesting loggerheads from Cyprus, for example, go to the Tunisian Plateau to feed. The region, off the northern coast of Africa, is “known to have some of the highest turtle bycatch (accident catch by humans fishing) in the world,” Julia Haywood, an ecologist at the University of Exeter and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

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