Posted by: carlsafina | Wednesday, April 22 09

Let’s See Sea Turtles

The sea turtles heading to Florida’s shores for their annual nesting ritual are true survivors.   Unlike some of their kind, they’ve avoided getting snagged on commercial fishing lines that stretch for miles offshore.  One particular trouble spot is the bottom longline fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

A snapshot of the statistics shows why… 

When the NMFS ruled in 2005 that longline fishing boats could catch up to 113 “hard shell” sea turtles (several species except leatherbacks) during a three-year period without jeopardizing the turtles’ survival, they later found how off the mark they were.  Nearly 1,000 turtles were caught in just a two year period, and many of them drowned.  That’s eight times the limit.

Florida’s loggerhead population is crucial to the species’ worldwide survival.  That’s why it’s disheartening to note that in Florida, the number of loggerhead sea turtle nests plunged by 40 percent over the past decade.

The Obama administration can do two things;  monitor fisheries data and provide adequate field observes to  closely to prevent another slaughter like the one that occurred a couple of years ago.

For the rest of us, we can make our voices heard by signing on to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project’s petition at or by visiting

And we can learn how our seafood choices affect sea turtle survival at

Let’s not vote any more turtles off the beaches this year by sitting on the sidelines.

Carl Safina with a Leatherback Turtle

Carl Safina with a Leatherback Turtle



  1. Dear Carl,

    I wish to contact you about your photo on top of this website and your work on Misali Island.
    I am writing a PhD proposal for anthropological research on the Misali Conservation project. I would like to use your photo on the frontpage of my proposal and hope you will give me permission to do so.
    The proposal is about the manner in which religion and ecology are integrated in this project and how this has worked out for the locals in Pemba.
    I will send my proposal to the sociology department of the Free University of Amsterdam. I will of course credit you in the reference section.

    If I receive a grant for my proposal I would like to talk to you about the Misali project. Maybe you can give me some practical advice on who to talk to and where to start.

    Thanks in advance!

    With kind regards,
    Francisca Jol.

    • Jean, thank you; That will be super!
      – Carl

  2. Happy Birthday, Carl! How fitting that it would be on World Turtle Day. Thank you so much for your beautiful and inspiring words about the sea turtles and the oceans. On June 3 we will release 23 (Cc, Cm, and Lk). One of them will be in your honor!

  3. A neighbor dropped a book out in front of the recycler can so I noticed the title…”song for the blue ocean” and I CANT PUT IT DOWN!!

    I am still fighting for helping our salmon habitat recovery best I can with emails, letters, and phone calls. Wanna buy a Montauk 17? Its useless with no salmon for my family sustenance.
    Wish I could meet Ed Cheney..
    We saw a HUGE leatherback off Half Moon bay while salmon trolling in the eighties and will never forget it! Gave it lots of room. I tell everyone I know that they eat plastic bags mistaken for jellyfish-


    Gary in Fairfax ca

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