4 Turtles Killed in Boat Strikes

A leatherback turtle like this was one of the recent boat-strike victims. This turtle, estimated at well over 500 pounds, was found in Buzzards Bay several years ago. Photo by ##http://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

July 27, 2010: According to an article on Boston.com, 4 adult endangered sea turtles have been killed off Massachusetts by boat strikes in the past 3 weeks.

The results of a prop strike are not pretty. Photo by ##http://newenglandboating.com/author/tom## Tom Richardson##

The dead turtles include 3 loggerheads and 1 leatherback. All were found washed up on shore bearing lacerations that were most likely caused by propellers. The turtles were otherwise healthy. New England boaters are being urged to keep a close watch for turtles, which can be found very close to shore during the summer months as they feed on crabs, whelks and jellyfish.

To read the full article, go to Boston.com Metro Desk.

Sea Turtle Facts:

  • Adult leatherbacks can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds and grow to 8 feet in length. Jellyfish are a main staple of their diet, which is why many die from accidentally ingesting plastic bags and balloons.
  • Leatherbacks can be found throughout the world’s tropical and temperate waters. Nesting in the U.S. and Caribbean takes place from March through July.
  • The current global population of nesting female leatherbacks is estimated at 26,000 to 46,000 individuals, down from an estimate 115,000 in 1980.
  • Loggerhead turtles also range worldwide and can reach weighs of 1,000 pounds, although average size is around 250 pounds. They feed primarily on jellyfish, conchs, crabs and sometimes fish.
  • In the U.S., loggerheads nest in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
  • Total estimated nesting in the U.S. is approximately 68,000 to 90,000 nests/year.

Sea Turtle Video:


Video courtesy:  Anything Scuba.