Hundreds of endangered sea turtles killed by illegal abandoned fishing net

Hundreds of endangered sea turtles killed by illegal abandoned fishing net
© Getty Images

The Mexican government is investigating the death of about 300 endangered turtles after their bodies were found decomposed and trapped in an abandoned illegal fishing net.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the country’s office for environmental protection said the Olive Ridley turtles had drowned in the net after getting trapped inside. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The office said in a statement obtained by the news agency that the turtles had been dead for approximately eight days before they were discovered by local residents near Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, and their bodies were badly decomposed.

The office said the 393-foot long net that trapped the endangered turtles had not been approved by the government for use in fishing.

Though the turtles’ cause of death is still being investigated, experts believe the animals died from asphyxiation, toxic algae or hooks that were attached to the net, the AP reported.

According to the news agency, the Mexican government’s prosecutorial office tasked with crimes against the environment is currently leading the investigation into the animals’ deaths, including those responsible for setting the net.

The sea turtles have since been buried on the beach.