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Cause of Cabo turtle death still unclear

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The successful release of 100 000 turtles from Cabo’s beaches during the 2016 season was reported just last week.


So, it was particularly upsetting to read later in that same week, that almost 100 turtles had been found dead on the beaches of La Paz and Cabo. Fishermen had also reported seeing dead turtles at sea – and suspected it was the result of the “marea roca”, or “red tide”.


A "red tide" is a common term used for a harmful algal bloom. Harmful algal blooms occur when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds.


The algal blooms can change the color of the water because they have pigments which they catch the light of the sun. These pigments can be red, yellow, green, coffee or combinations.

The environmental authorities – ZOFEMAT and PROFEPA – have been checking water samples from all the affected areas. So far, no trace of “red tide” has been found in the immediate vicinities.


BUT, the turtles were all found in an advanced stage of decomposition. Indicating that they may been affected further afield. For example, in Sonora, where it has already been recommended not to eat seafood at the moment.


The situation is being closely monitored as more samples are analysed. Nothing definitive has yet been confirmed.


There have been no more dead turtles. And right now, there is no warning against eating seafood.

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