Well, not the least bit surprising, sea turtles have always been very difficult to track, and we’re finally getting verification that, gasp, turtles’ lives cannot be described in simple juvenile = open sea, adult = coast behavior.
Until now scientists have believed that young turtles live in the open ocean, but change to a coastal habitat when they reach a certain size.
But researchers working in Cape Verde found that most adults nesting there retain their open water behaviour, with the attendant risk posed by longline boats.
“The bottom line is that we thought juveniles experienced this risk out in the open ocean with longline fisheries,” said Brendan Godley from the University of Exeter.
“We thought that if you got them past that, then unless they’re being taken by inshore fisheries, you’re OK,” he told the BBC News website.
“But now you’ve got adults exposed to longline fisheries, which is very worrying.”