Hundreds of endangered sea turtles have been found dead off El Salvador’s Pacific coast under mysterious circumstances, with authorities unable to determine what caused their demise.
The country’s environment ministry said in a news release that its officers found approximately 300 turtles floating in the waters off Jiquilisco Bay, some 71 miles (115 kms) from the capital San Salvador.
Técnicos y guardarrecursos navegaron 7 millas náuticas mar adentro de la Bahía de Jiquilisco donde se hallaron varias tortugas muertas (1/4) pic.twitter.com/Wvzq970gDW
— MARN El Salvador (@MARN_SV) November 3, 2017
According to officials, the turtles were found by chance by local fishermen. According to the ministry, most of the turtles were decomposing when found.
“We still ignore the species of the turtles. There are people who say they are olive ridley turtles and others who say they are a different type of species,” Barahona said.
“We’re waiting for the relevant authorities, in this case, the Environment Ministry and other authorities, to carry out studies to determine the reason behind the death of the turtles,” Jiquilisco Mayor David Barahona told Reuters on Oct. 31.
Esto no descarta afectación por marea roja. Mañana se realizarán más muestreos de agua. Resultados de tejidos estarán en próximos días (2/2) pic.twitter.com/IZS0IBR2Mh
— MARN El Salvador (@MARN_SV) November 6, 2017
In 2013, hundreds of sea turtles were found dead off El Salvador’s coast. Authorities at the time ascertained the cause of death to be due to exposure to toxins from a toxic algal bloom, commonly known as “red tides.”