Fourth Long Island Sound Sea Turtle Found Dead After Getting Hit by Boat

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A fourth sea turtle has been killed by a boat strike in Long Island Sound – the third such incident in the Milford/Stratford area this summer.

Green Sea Turtle photo by Brocken Inaglory on Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Brocken Inaglory on Wikimedia Commons

Green sea turtle swimming at a reef in Kona.

A three-foot loggerhead turtle was found on Friday, Sept. 21 washed up at Silver Sands State Park, the apparent victim of an encounter with a boat propeller.

— an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

This was the fourth loggerhead in the Sound killed by boats this summer – an unusually high number. (The others: found on Long Beach in Stratford July 15 and Aug. 29, and on Norwalk’s Sheffield Island Aug. 9.)

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk again is urging boaters to slow down and watch for these endangered animals.

Kemp's ridley sea turtle nesting National Park Service photo

Photo by National Park Service

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, nesting

“It’s frustrating to keep having to say this, but we urge boaters to be aware that sea turtles are in the Sound at this time of year and thus to watch where they’re going,” said Dr. David Hudson, research scientist for The Maritime Aquarium.

Hudson recommended that boaters reduce their speeds, especially in comparatively shallower waters and anywhere near sea grasses, where some turtles feed. He discouraged the use of autopilot, and encouraged assigning a passenger to serve as a spotter.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Long Island Sound

Photo from Maritime Aquarium

A loggerhead sea turtle, the species of turtle found dead from boat-propeller strikes off Stratford on July 15 and off Norwalk’s Sheffield Island on Aug. 9. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is reminding boaters that sea turtles are in Long Island Sound at this time of year and asking that they take simple precautions to avoid collisions.

Sea turtles are most vulnerable to boat collisions when they come to the surface to breathe and/or warm themselves in the sun. (They are cold-blooded.) At the surface, Hudson said, the turtles are least able to make avoidance maneuvers.

If a boat strike occurs, or if an injured or dead turtle is found, boaters should call Mystic Aquarium, which is the federally designated responder to marine mammal and sea turtles strandings and entanglements in Connecticut. The number is (860) 572-5955, ext. 107.


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