Miscellaneous - Sounds Wild
Visiting Sea Turtle


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Visiting Sea turtle

Fishermen aboard a purse seiner just south of Prince of Wales Island encountered an unusual reptile in Alaska waters as they were setting their net in May of 2020 - a green sea turtle.

The crew was concerned the turtle might become entangled in their seine net and brought it on board temporarily before releasing it unharmed. They guessed the turtle weighed about 40 pounds - since green sea turtles can weigh up to 350 pounds, and this animal would still be considered a juvenile.

A sea turtle biologist said the turtle most likely hatched on a beach in southern Mexico and headed out to sea as a baby. He said most adult green sea turtles live close to shore but some remain in the open ocean their entire lives.

Prevailing currents along the west coast run south, but further offshore currents can run northerly, enabling a turtle like this to passively drift with the currents over time, from Mexico into Southeast Alaska waters. Following its brief encounter with the friendly seiners, the near-shore currents would likely move it south to more suitable warmer habitat. Since 1963, 21 green sea turtles have been documented in Alaska waters, some as far north as Homer and Kodiak. All told, other Alaska sea turtle sightings include 19 leatherback sea turtles, and a few olive ridleys and loggerheads.