4 Sea Turtles Killed by Suspected Boat Propeller Strikes

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Last week’s rough surf may have been the reason the MERR Institute had more than the usual number of sea turtle responses.

Suzanne Thurman, MERR executive director, says her organization investigated the deaths of three loggerheads and two Kemp’s ridleys. All were located on the Delaware Bay between Prime Hook and Pickering beaches. Four, she says, like the one shown here, were confirmed victims of boat propellers.

Photo courtesy MERR Institute

“The storm seas pushed them ashore,” Thurman says, “which lets us know that these many turtles are out there daily but they never get reported.”

She says turtles sleep on the surface and most boaters don’t even see them. The easy fix would be to slow down, she added. There is also a cage system that can go around the propeller and they are looking into those to see why they aren’t more widely used.


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