The Beacon

Blog Tags: Sea Turtles

World Turtle Day Spotlight: Fighting for Turtle Excluder Devices in Louisiana

sea turtle swimming in Mexico

(Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

In honor of the fourteenth World Turtle Day, created by the American Tortoise Rescue to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises around the world, we’re taking a close look at one of the biggest threats facing sea turtles today.


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Photos: Help Save Sea Turtles with These Five Simple Steps

Leatherback sea turtle hatchlings on the U.S. Virgin Islands

Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their nest on the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

Of the seven sea turtle species in the world, six nest in the United States, and all of them are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act — harmed by bycatch, marine debris, boat strikes, pollution, and many more threats.


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Recent Studies Provide Insight on Sea Turtle Migration and Future Trends

A Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling

A loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle hatchling makes its way to the ocean. (Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife / Flickr Creative Commons)

Sea turtles are some of the oceans’ most charismatic species, but there’s still much to be learned about them. Since May 23 is World Turtle Day, we’re spotlighting two recent studies on sea turtles. Read more below to find out more about their migration patterns and how climate change will affect future populations.

Where do sea turtles spend their “lost years”?


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Fighting for Turtle Excluder Devices in Louisiana

sea turtle swimming in Mexico

(Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

In honor of the fourteenth World Turtle Day, created by the American Tortoise Rescue to celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises around the world, we’re taking a close look at one of the biggest threats facing sea turtles today.


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Oceana Convenes New International Partnership to Save Endangered Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle

The Bupati Tambrauw showcases the signed copy of the declaration with fellow signatories. (Photo: Oceana)

When Oceana first began its work to protect critically endangered Pacific leatherbacks off the U.S. West Coast, we had no idea that these prehistoric turtles would eventually provide a global link to connect us to conservationists half way across the planet.


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Are We Giving Loggerhead Sea Turtles Enough Protections to Survive?

Loggerhead sea turtles face myriad threats and risks. Are they getting adequate protections?

A recent lawsuit prompted the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on July 17 to propose 36 ocean areas as critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit, jointly filed by Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, came five years after environmental groups petitioned the government to strengthen protections for loggerhead populations, and 35 years after loggerheads were first listed under the Endangered Species Act, at which time the government was required to designate critical habitat by law. This prolonged delay impelled environmental organizations to take legal action to ensure that the threats these sea turtles face are minimized.

Government Officials, and Sea Turtles

© OCEANA / Carlos Minguell

This post comes to us from our Oceana offices in Europe. Click here to read the post in the original Spanish version. 

August 7, 2013

In an event attended by José Ramón Bauzá, the President of the government of the Balearic Islands, and Gabriel Company, Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Territory, the Cabrera National Park hosted the yearly tradition of returning rescued sea turtles to the sea. This event inspires us to take a moment to recognize the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) like the Cabrera National Park -- safe havens that are essential to the conservation of loggerhead sea turtles and many other species.


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It's Endangered Species Day!

The Endangered Species Act protects endangered and critically endangered creatures like this loggerhead sea turtle. Still, there is much work to be done. 

May 17th is the day to show your love for endangered sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and all sorts of marine creatures.  Why? Because it’s Endangered Species Day! Today is the day to learn and share information about your favorite endangered animals and rally support around the creatures that need it most.


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Endangered Sea Turtles Face Increased Threats

Endangered loggerheads will be subject to 100% higher catch ©Oceana

After a victory for Pacific sea turtles last week, here’s some not so good news. 

Two endangered species of sea turtle are facing an increased threat after the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved a plan allowing a Hawaii-based shallow-set longline swordfish fishery to catch more endangered sea turtles while hunting for swordfish in the North Pacific Ocean.

Currently, regulations allow a capture, or “take,” of 16 endangered leatherback sea turtles and 17 endangered loggerhead sea turtles per fishery per year. If and when turtle catch limits are reached, the fishery must close for the year. However, the new rule, set to take effect November 5, will allow a 62 percent increase in allowable takes of leatherbacks for a total of 26 per year, and a 100 percent increase in the catch of loggerheads for a total of 34 per year. 

The timing for this approval is particularly paradoxical, as NMFS upgraded the status of the Pacific loggerhead sea turtle from “threatened” to “endangered” little more than a year ago, and designated almost 42,000 square miles of ocean waters off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington as critical habitat for leatherback sea turtles earlier this year. The leatherback sea turtle was also recently designated as the official state marine reptile of California.

Ben Enticknap, Pacific Project Manager for Oceana, said:

This decision is outrageous. On the one hand the federal government acknowledges Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles are endangered and that more needs to be done to protect them. At the same time they say it is okay for U.S. fishermen to kill more of them.”

We agree, it’s outrageous – and our campaigners are examining the available options in a plan to stop these measures before they take effect on November 5. We’ll keep you posted!


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Victory: Power Plant Defeated in Chile

seagrass meadows

Seagrass near where the power plant would have been built. © Oceana/Eduardo Sorensen 

Great news from Chile: A planned coal-fired plant, located dangerously close to several biodiverse marine habitats, was shot down by the Chilean Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Coal-powered thermoelectric power plants are notoriously dangerous to the environment. This plant was planned for the Punta Cachos area off of Chile’s northern coast, just a few kilometers from important habitats for Humboldt penguins, sea turtles, and one of Chile’s few seagrass meadows. As part of its operations, the plant would have released warm water into the ocean. This change in temperature could have affected the entire ecosystem, reducing the numbers of mollusks, crustaceans, jellyfish, algae, and sea grasses, all of which are food for the local sea turtle colony.

Despite initial approval by the local environmental commission, this power plant is opposed by the local community of Totoral and various other organizations, including Oceana. The community of Totoral fought against the plan and won a victory, getting their approval revoked, but the company appealed, bringing the case to the Supreme Court. We are pleased that, in the end, the Supreme Court sided with the community, and the oceans.

Oceana’s team in Chile has been working hard to fight against the pollution caused by plants and factories like this one, which affect the coastal ecosystems as well the safety of the local air and water. Congrats to all who helped win this victory for Chile's oceans!


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