NOAA Fisheries Issues Tips for Those That Find Stranded Turtles

The loggerhead sea turtle found on a Plymouth beach

The loggerhead sea turtle found on a Plymouth beach

HYANNIS – This is the time of year when leatherback, loggerhead, green, and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles return to northern waters, with many sightings around Cape Cod.

Celebrate Sea Turtle Week 2016 with this short lesson about what to do if you see a sea turtle in distress:

If you find a live sea turtle on the shore, tangled or not, it may be sick or injured beyond what you can immediately see.

In New England, healthy sea turtles should not be on beaches or out of the water.

If they are, there is likely a medical issue that requires professional attention.

If anyone finds stranded or entangled sea turtles or marine mammals they are asked to call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at 866-755-6622 or the Center for Coastal Studies at 800-900-3622.

Those agencies ask that people keep the animal in sight and wait for responders to arrive.

If the animal is alive and breathing when you find it, it’s very unlikely to die within hours of its first report.

Like any first responders, the agencies need time to get on scene, so people are asked to stay with the animal and try to reduce any stress on the animal as much as possible.

Sea turtles are very strong, and a stressed animal can act unpredictably, so keep people and pets at a safe distance.

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