In mid-November, tragedy struck Cape Cod in the Northeastern United States.

A juvenile leatherback sea turtle washed up dead on Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable.

The causes of death for this 400-pound sea turtle serve as a stark reminder of the threats that sea turtles face while swimming in the waters that we share with these gentle giants.


“A necropsy determined that the turtle had been struck by a vessel, become entangled in marine gear and swallowed a 3-foot piece of plastic sheeting. The turtle had also swallowed a plastic bag and candy wrapper.”

Even though sea turtles are protected by US laws and international treaties, this tragedy underscores the need to continue to take strong action to protect sea turtles from threats in their marine environment.

One simple thing you can do today to help reduce sea turtles from getting entangled in fishing gear is to urge California and regulators to ban driftnet fishing. By doing this, we will protect sea turtles, whales, dolphins and more.

You can read more about the tragic leatherback death here.