Sea Turtle Strandings data in Tenerife (Canary Islands)
Sea turtle populations have suffered a significant decline in recent years, mainly due to anthropogenic causes. The Canary Islands (Spain) constitute an important passage and feeding area for several species of sea turtles. Historical stranding records in this archipelago revealed a high frequency of strandings of Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas species. Tenerife is the island with the highest sea turtle strandings, registered by the La Tahonilla Wilde Recovery Centre, which provided us with a database on strandings collected over 23 years, from January 1998 to February 2021, with a total of 1,875 registered cases. A systematic review of this database was performed, which consisted of a one-by-one review of all data, checking the consistency of each stranding record, the missing variables, the mistakes in its compilation as well as sorting all entries in the database. The cases with missing stranding or descriptive data were eliminated from the review. Finally, we selected 965 records of stranded sea turtles on the coast and at sea. This dataset contains these stranding records, identifying their main causes. It has been analyzed in the study entitled “Sea Turtle Stranding Records and fishing interactions on an Oceanic Atlantic Island, Tenerife, Canary Islands”, carried out in 2021. This study showed that the main cause of stranding for sea turtles is fishing gear, specifically nets, and hooks employed by surface longlines, that drift into Canarian waters. Furthermore, the individuals affected by this problem in the study area correspond to juvenile sea turtles.