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Posted by Willy Franzen on November 9, 2008. Positions below updated every five minutes.
One of the cooler fly fishing moments that I’ve had was sea turtle related. I was in Costa Rica fishing for sailfish when we trolled past a couple of sea turtles. Immediately a dorado (aka mahi mahi aka dolphin fish) came out from below the sea turtles (they love hanging out under debris… or turtles) and started chasing the hookless plugs that we had let out behind the boat. We teased the fish in to the boat, I cast my fly to it, hooked it, and caught it after an amazing battle. It was a perfect example of how ecosystems work with the fish using turtles as cover to ambush prey. Unfortunately, our experience with sea turtles from the previous year’s trip wasn’t so heartwarming, as another boat from our party came across a turtle that had been tangled in commercial fishing long lines (nothing like what sport fishermen use). Luckily they were able to get the turtle in the boat and cut it free from the tangle of lines, but it was a reminder of how many risks sea turtles are facing out in the wild (see below for a picture of the turtle as it was being rescued). The Sea Turtle Restoration Project is a non-profit organization that is trying to protect sea turtles from these threats of pollution, coastal development, commercial fishing long lines, and shrimping nets.
As I’ve seen firsthand, sea turtles are both important parts of the ocean ecosystem and at a high risk for extinction. They’re amazing animals to watch in their natural habitat, and they deserve to be protected. You can help protect them by taking a job with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. Right now they’re looking for a Human Health and Oceans Campaigner “to help save the oceans from industrial fishing and save ourselves from mercury poisoning from contaminated fish: tuna, swordfish, shark.” They’re looking for someone with a background in campaigning, journalism, community or political organizing, lobbying or legal advocacy, so you probably should have worked on some projects on these areas (and really love sea turtles) if you’re going to apply. This is a one year position with a salary in the low to mid 40s and the opportunity for renewal. The job is based about an hour northwest of San Francisco near the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, and you can apply by sending your cover letter and resume to tshore@TIRN.net. There’s also the potential for a part-time Web Activist position if you’re willing to start as a volunteer. The application details are the same as for the previous position.
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Have you had any firsthand experiences with sea turtles? Tell us about them.