Boaters Asked to Report Turtle Sightings

Dead leatherback recently found in west end of Cape Cod Canal. Photo Tom Richardson

Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is asking boaters and fishermen who encounter either live or dead sea turtles to report the sightings, either online at or by phone at 1-888-SEA-TURT (1-888-732-8878).  As instructed on the website or phone message, if the sea turtle is entangled or injured, in need of immediate assistance, the boater should call the Center for Coastal Studies hotline at 1-800-900-3622.

When you see a turtle, please note:

* Date

* Location (as specific as possible)

* Time of day

* Approximate size

* Any other details observed


Sightings can be reported by calling:
1-888-Sea-Turt (1-888-732-8878) or online at


Leatherback Alert!

It’s been a sparse summer so far in terms of leatherback sightings. Now that late summer and fall are here, however, jellyfish are appearing in greater density, and this is what leatherbacks eat. Because leatherbacks eat huge quantities of jellyfish in our waters, leatherback numbers are increasing also. Tragically, so are vessel strikes.

Last year, leatherbacks were present off New England well into October, especially around Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Please report any sea turtle sightings here at, and stay alert when boating.