Leatherback turtle freed from entanglement

CCS works to free turtle from entanglement. CCS image taken under NOAA permit 50 CFR 222.310.

CCS works to free turtle from entanglement. CCS image taken under NOAA permit 50 CFR 222.310.

October 31, 2015

The Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team, with the US Coast Guard and Truro Harbor Master, disentangled a 4.5 foot long leatherback sea turtle today off Pamet Harbor, Cape Cod Bay.

The turtle sustained relatively minor injuries from its entanglement and swam off vigorously once released.

Leatherback sea turtles feed and migrate through the area in late-summer and early-fall, but this is the latest entanglement on record for Massachusetts over the last decade.

Considering this, mariners are urged to keep an eye out for entangled leatherbacks, stay with the turtle at a safe distance and report the sighting to the USCG or the CCS hotline immediately (1-800-900-3622). The turtle released today was promptly reported by a concerned mariner and the USCG stood by the animal. The outcome for the turtle was greatly enhanced by these actions.

CCS disentanglement operations are conducted in partnership with Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries  and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under federal permits issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Support for the Marine Animal Response Team also comes from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and contributions from CCS members.