Help Sea Turtles With Safe Fishing Practices

A leading cause of death or injury to sea turtles is discarded fishing line and fishing hooks. Here are a few ways to help sea turtles when fishing.

• PREVENT the EVENT. DO NOT cast your line where sea turtles are seen surfacing to breathe.

• If you hook or entangle a turtle on your line: GENTLY bring turtle close to you, use dip net or firmly hold front flippers and shell to safely lift out of water. Lift from the shell, not the flippers.

• DO cut line close to hook and remove line that has become entangled around turtle. AVOID turtle’s mouth and flipper claws; use blunt scissors or a knife to cut the line.

• DO NOT lift turtle above the water by pulling the line – this will result in further injury. If the distance from the boat, or pier, is too great, or turtle is too large, cut line as short as possible to release turtle.

• DO NOT remove a hook unless the turtle is lightly hooked and it can be taken out without further injury. If uncertain, do not remove the hook.

• Turtles with serious cuts, ingested or deeply embedded hooks need veterinary care. Keep the turtle in the shade. Immediately call Sea Turtle,Entangled turtle, cropped Inc. at (956)761-4511 or the Coastal Studies Lab at (956) 761-2644