First Sea Turtle Sightings of Summer Reported

WELLFLEET – Mass Audubon has reported the first sea turtle sightings of the 2020 season on Cape Cod.

The sightings were recently recorded by Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The first turtle sighted was a free-swimming leatherback in Nantucket Sound south of South Monomoy. Another leatherback was later reported in Buzzards Bay.

“Now they’re the really big sea turtles; six to eight feet long,” said Karen Dourdeville, the sea turtle stranding coordinator for the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Leatherbacks are the world’s largest species of sea turtle, according to Mass Audubon.

With another season of sea turtle sightings officially underway, dead turtles are often seen floating in water or washed onto the shore of beaches. Mass Audubon is continuing to work to prevent these fatalities.

“These turtles are vulnerable to vessel strikes and entanglement in fixed vertical line fishing gear,” Dourdeville said.

Boaters are urged to avoid using auto-pilot features and to watch out ahead in order to prevent sea turtle injuries and fatalities.

To learn more, visit the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary’s website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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