Thousands of sea turtles die each year by accidental entanglement in fishing gear, making it the single biggest threat to their survival. Up to 40% of animals caught by fisheries are discarded as trash, including endangered sea turtles. Fishing gear and hooks can be swallowed, and fishing line and nets can wrap around their bodies with no way to free themselves.
Recent proposals to modify fishing gear may reduce the amount of bycatch. Groups are also advocating for the closure of fisheries during known times when sea turtles are present in the area.