A leatherback sea turtle was recently in the news, as it found itself entangled in commercial fishing gear. Luckily, a charter crew in the area was able to save the leatherback from the ropes wrapped around it, including around the neck and flippers.
The rescue was featured on local news, including 10 Tampa Bay. There’s footage of the rescue, as well as an interview with the crew that saved the leatherback from disaster.
Endangered leatherbacks are often the victim of entanglement in commercial fishing gear like crab and lobster pot ropes, drift-gill nets and longline fishing gear. In the leatherback rescue in Florida, the charter crew mentioned the use of crab traps in the area.
Turtle Island’s leatherback program is centered around stopping these entanglements and protecting nesting beaches. Less than 50 years ago, leatherback sea turtles—Earth’s largest living reptiles—were thriving in the world’s oceans. Today, due to unsustainable human activities, the leatherback sea turtle is teetering on the edge of extinction. This recent rescue is an example of the impact human activity is having on these creatures.
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