A nearly 5 foot long rare leatherback sea turtle was found dead on Callhan’s Beach in Fort Salonga July 24.
The male sea turtle had multiple lacerations on its on top shell that were consistent with a vessel strike, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, an organization that promotes marine conservation. The animal otherwise appeared to be in good body condition.
AMCS has responded to 13 sea turtles so far this year, with this being the first leatherback. Of these 13 responses, 10 have evidence of human interaction – nine were deceased with evidence of vessel strike and one had been caught on a fishing hook, but freed itself.
AMCS is encouraging the public to be aware that we share our waters with these animals and to give them at least 150 feet of space if sighted swimming. Strandings can be reported to the NYS Stranding Hotline at 631.369.9829.