Potential Impacts of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have been swimming the oceans for more than 100 million years. They have persisted through natural predators, climatic changes and even the mass dinosaur extinction. They have proven to be important ecologically, economically and culturally both in the United States and abroad. Nonetheless, modern day human activities are killing sea turtles at a … Read more

Oil spill devastating for sea turtles and Gulf of Mexico ecosystem

Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, released a new report today entitled Why Healthy Oceans Need Sea Turtles: The Importance of Sea Turtles to Marine Ecosystems. The new report describes the vital roles sea turtles play, including maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coral reefs, providing key habitat for other marine life, … Read more

Why Healthy Oceans Need Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. These roles range from maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from the oceans to beaches and coastal dunes. Major changes have occurred in the oceans because sea turtles have been virtually eliminated … Read more

Feature: Migration of sea turtles

Sea turtles are a migratory species which, no sooner have they broken out of their eggs on the laying beaches of Florida, Yucatan and other locations on the east coast of the Americas, embark on a frenzied race towards the sea. At the water’s edge, hundreds of tiny turtles barely 15 centimetres long meet the … Read more

Learn more: Fishing Gear Modifications

In order to reduce sea turtle injury and death, modifications can be made to certain types of fishing gear, including the following examples: Circle hooks Circle hooks can significantly reduce the number of hooks that are lethally ingested by turtles. Unlike J-hooks, which tend to be swallowed by sea turtles as they ingest the baited … Read more

Leran more: Protecting Habitat

Loggerhead Habitat In November 2007, Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. federal government to up list Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act  and to protect the key habitat areas for these sea turtles from human impacts. Currently, the loggerhead is listed as threatened and … Read more

Reducing By-catch in U.S. fisheries

Oceana’s campaign focuses primarily on one of the biggest human-provoked  threats to sea turtle survival: bycatch (link) in commercial fisheries. Oceana works to reduce sea turtle (link) bycatch in EU  fisheries through gear modification (link 5) and by advocating for the closure of fisheries at times and in areas where sea turtles are likely to … Read more

Learn: Sea Turtles and Climate Change

The following effects of climate change will have critical implications for sea turtles: Severe Storms More severe storms, such as hurricanes and tropical cyclones, could increase beach erosion rates, endangering sea turtle nesting habitat. Often  severe storms could increase the chance that sea turtle nests will flood, decreasing nesting success rates. Hotter Sands The sex … Read more

Learn more: Other Threats to Sea Turtles

Along with fishing gear and climate change, there are numerous human activity  threats to sea turtles. These threats include coastal development, pollution, direct harvest, invasive species and vessel strikes. Coastal Development With the encroachment of hotels, parking lots and housing along nesting beaches, female turtles are forced to use suboptimal nesting habitats. After emerging from their … Read more