Volume 70

North Coast of the Cuban Shelf:A Migratory Corridor for Sea Turtles in the Caribbean Sea Region

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Date: November, 2017

Pages: 152-153

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Merida, Yucatan

Country: México


The Cuban shelf constitutes an important area for foraging, nesting and at the same time a migratory corridor within the Caribbean Sea region for the Green turtle, Loggerhead and the Hawksbill turtle. Results obtained mainly from the metallic tagging indicated these species move to the east and west directions (favor and against the current), a movement towards the east prevailing for the Green turtle and the Hawksbill turtle, and a movement towards the west for the Loggerhead turtle. For this reason, it was proposed for the north coast of Cuba the possibility of constituting a migratory route for turtles of the three species on routes to habitat destinations on the southern coast of Cuba or to other sites (Moncada et al., 2006, 2010, and 2012). However, new evidences from satellite tracking of turtles from other areas of the Caribbean confirm that these turtles when they arrive to Cuba in transit along the north coast. Taking into account that the knowledge of migratory corridors is of vital importance for the development of effective international strategies for the conservation of sea turtles (Morreale et al., 1996), and also that for the study of their existence, studies are generally based mainly on the movements of post-nesting females observed within the same season; this paper aims to provide new elements based on tag-recapture data previously studied, but this time analyzed with this objective, and considering the data within each year, and / or tagging station, the size groups for each species and their movement along the coast. Information is also provided on turtles trawled in other areas swimming along the northern coast of Cuba, demonstrating and confirming the north coast of the Cuban shelf constitutes a migratory corridor that includes different species of turtles in different stages of life.

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