Novel Insights Into Gas Embolism in Sea Turtles: First Description in Three New Species

Last modified: 
June 30, 2020 - 1:26pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2020
Date published: 06/2020
Authors: Jose Crespo-Picazo, Mariluz Parga, Yara de Quirós, Danielle Monteiro, Vicente Marco-Cabedo, Cristina Llopis-Belenguer, Daniel García-Párraga
Journal title: Frontiers in Marine Science
Volume: 7

The recent finding of gas embolism (GE) and decompression sickness (DCS) in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean Sea challenged the conventional understanding of marine vertebrate diving physiology. Additionally, it brought to light a previously unknown source of mortality associated with fisheries bycatch for this vulnerable species. In this paper, we use ultrasonography to describe GE in a leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), and an olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) from accidental capture in a gillnet, bottom trawl, and pair-bottom trawl, respectively. This is the first description of this condition in these three species worldwide. These cases of GE suggest that this may be a threat faced by all sea turtle species globally.

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