Sea turtles spend most of their time in marine environments, facing grave threats as they forage, mate and migrate.

Humans pose the greatest risk to sea turtle survival. Successful conservation efforts dramatically reduced risks to sea turtles associated with direct exploitation of adults and eggs for food. Yet human-induced threats remain the principal source of danger to every sea turtle species across the globe.

 

Fisheries Bycatch

Unintentional capture is likely the single greatest threat to sea turtles and other highly migratory species.

Approximately 40% of animals captured as bycatch do not survive. Sea turtles released alive may have serious injuries that negatively impact their chances of survival.

 

Climate Change

The oceans where sea turtles spend most of their lives are warming and are expected to absorb 80% of the excess heat trapped on our planet.

Changes in ocean temperature are likely to have a wide range of effects on the survival and behavior of sea turtles.

 

Plastic Pollution

Accidentally ingested plastics can block a sea turtle’s airways or induce starvation by filling up a turtle’s digestive tract with undigested material.

The devastating impact of plastic pollution on sea turtles continues to grow as we add another 8 million metric tons of plastic to global oceans each year.

 

 
Green turtle surfacing for air

Ship Strikes

Strikes occur when a boat makes contact with a turtle in water. The severity of the impact corresponds to the size and speed of the boat.

Nearly one-tenth of stranded turtles show evidence of ship strikes, but it is likely that turtles struck by a boat, far from shore, never wash up.