Sea Turtles Threatened by Fungus

Written by on February 4, 2014 in Other News

Daily Summary

Anarchy On The High Seas: Global Ocean Commission calls for an ocean Sustainable Development Goal
Today, the Global Ocean Commission is calling for a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal for the global ocean. The Global Ocean Commission and other organizations believe that this would “deliver integrated and holistic management across the whole ocean system.” The announcement coincides with the meeting of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, where Global Ocean Commissioner Co-chair David Miliband will give a keynote speech on the importance of reforming ocean governance.

Olive Ridley sea turtles on a beach in Mexico.

Olive Ridley sea turtles on a beach in Mexico. Photo credit: NOAA.

Fungi threaten sea turtle nests
All of the world’s seven sea turtle species are considered either endangered or vulnerable to extinction. Threats to their existence include habitat destruction, accidental catch in fishing gear, poaching and pollution. Now, there’s yet another threat. In recent years there have been several reports of a fungus, Fusarium solani, that has infected sea turtle eggs. Researchers surveyed sea turtle nests in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans from 2005-2012 to determine how widespread the fungus was. They found that the eggs were never infected if they came directly from the mother, suggesting that the fungus came from the sand. They also found that nests located in areas prone to flooding or inundated with clay and silt had much higher mortality rates than nests that didn’t experience those conditions. The big problem is that as climate change and habitat destruction continue, more turtles will deposit eggs in these less suitable spots, increasing the likelihood of being killed by the fungus.

Sea Shepherd vessel.

Sea Shepherd vessel. Photo credit: Konabish ~ Greg Bishop via photopin cc.

Sea Shepherd accuses Japanese whalers of ‘aggressive’, ‘ruthless’ confrontation
Sea Shepherd said that one of its ships was struck in a coordinated attack during confrontations with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean last weekend. One if its vessels, the Bob Barker, was hit by the fleet’s harpoon vessel, the Yushin Maru No 2. Sea Shepherd is calling the “unprovoked” attack “an attempt to deter the Sea Shepherd ships from their current position…preventing the whalers from loading poached whales from the southern Ocean whale sanctuary.”Luckily, no one was injured, but the season isn’t over yet.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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