First Official Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day!

Written by on October 14, 2013 in Marine Life, Sea Turtles
Leatherback sea turtle.

Leatherback sea turtle. Photo credit: NOAA.

Tomorrow, October 15, is California’s first official Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day!

Just last year, the Pacific leatherback sea turtle was designated California’s official marine reptile and now, Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day will be held every year on October 15, which coincides with the peak season for leatherbacks feeding on jellyfish along the CA coastline. They swim 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to feed on those jellyfish! According to the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, there have been 16 leatherback sightings along the Central California coast this season.

As many as 300 endangered leatherbacks can be found searching for jellyfish along the CA coastline, one of the few safe havens for this endangered species. In a huge conservation victory, 42,000 square miles of ocean along the U.S. West Coast was designated as protected critical habitat. The CA coast contains 16,910 square miles of that protected critical habitat.

The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest, deepest diving and fastest swimming out of the seven sea turtle species. They are also the most threatened; their population has declined by about 95 percent in the last 25 years, primarily due to human activities such as poaching, pollution, and habitat destruction.

To support Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day, consider taking the pledge!

Leatherback sea turtle.

Leatherback sea turtle. Photo credit: Scott R. Benson, NMFS SWFSC.

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Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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