The Fort Pickens Fishing Pier will temporarily close next week so University of West Florida researchers can perform an underwater study of sea turtles.
The pier will close at 9 p.m. Thursday and reopen at noon Friday, according to a news release from Gulf Islands National Seashore. The study will help researchers better understand interactions between young adult sea turtles and piers.
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Sea turtles can often be hooked or entangled in fishing lines, causing injury or death to the endangered species.
The study will hopefully provide information on the causes and drivers for sea turtle incidents around piers to better inform wildlife managers. Researchers will also collect data on occurrences of invasive species.
Park rangers will be on duty at the pier during the closure, which extends to 25 yards out from the pier.
Madison Arnold can be reached at [email protected] and 850-435-8522.