Boaters Asked to Report Sea Turtle Sightings

A dead leatherback turtle in Buzzards Bay.

The Massachusetts Audubon Society is asking boaters to keep a careful lookout for sea turtles and report sightings on the website seaturtlesightings.org or by phone (888-732-8878).

The group is also asking boaters to refrain from using an autopilot. Last summer, 39 sea turtles were found dead on or off Cape Cod, and 15 showed evidence of being hit by a boat.

Sea turtles are very vulnerable to boat strikes when they come to the surface to rest and breathe. The leatherback is particularly vulnerable because it hunts jellyfish close to the surface/

Boaters who report sightings should provide details such as the date, location, time of day and approximate size of the turtle.