Subject: plastic tags (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 10:25:35 -0400 (EDT)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 08:27:05 -0700
From: "Wallace J. Nichols" <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: plastic tags

We have noticed that the commonly used plastic, 2-part flipper tags
("Roto-tags) contribute to sea turtles becoming entangled in gill nets.
This has been supported by in water observations, interviews with
fishermen, and studies of captive turtles.  During our investigations in
Baja California, Mexico we became aware that the same type of tag has been
used to identify pinnipeds and that several tagged sea lions had been
caught locally in gill nets (Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja Cal., Mexico).
Have there been any studies of the contribution of flipper tagging to
incidental capture of marine mammals?  We have recommended discontinuation
of use of these plastic tags on sea turtles despite claims of superior

Any infomation would be appreciated.



Wallace J. Nichols
Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences
School of Renewable Natural Resources
Biological Science East, Room 104
The University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona  85721  USA
phone: 520-620-0833
fax: 520-792-8370