Each month, fishermen in the Gulf of Thailand risk their lives harvesting live sea snakes. It’s risky for both parties: the snakes are in danger of being over-harvested and the fishermen could get bitten.
Scientists are now calling for a monitoring programme to assess the impact the on-going trade will have on their population numbers and to look how it affects the ecosystem.
A team reports in the journal Conservation Biology that fishermen have noticed a decline in their population since 2009. The researchers now want to understand if this is due to overfishing or other factors like pollution.
Fishermen harvest sea snakes in the dead of night (Credit: Zoltan Takacs)
The fishermen fish for squid with nets and hooks, and at the same time pick up hundreds of deadly sea snakes. The snakes have particularly potent venoms, which can be lethal.
Most of the…
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