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Sea Turtle Week 2015

A Message from Eileen Sobeck, Head of NOAA Fisheries
June 15, 2015


I want NOAA Fisheries to help people everywhere learn more about sea turtles and the great work NOAA Fisheries does every day to protect these wonderful creatures on behalf of the American public. A great way to learn is through the internet, and this week, Fisheries celebrates Sea Turtle Week 2015! Please take some time to dive into our special online content to learn more about the important science, conservation management efforts, and innovative bycatch reduction techniques we are using to safeguard these remarkable and vulnerable species. Additionally, if you would like to see some great photos, check us out on Instagram. Whatever level you want to engage on, we have something for you.

This year we are giving extra attention to the endangered Pacific leatherback as part of our Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive Initiative. Pacific leatherbacks continue to decline despite substantial conservation efforts in the United States and abroad. In recent decades, Western Pacific leatherback populations have declined more than 80 percent, while Eastern Pacific leatherbacks have declined by more than 97 percent. Through the Species in the Spotlight initiative, we are strengthening existing partnerships and developing new ones, domestically and internationally, to leverage our efforts, combine forces and work to reverse the decline of Pacific leatherbacks and enable them to survive and recover. You can do your part to help us conserve Pacific leatherbacks and all sea turtles by taking these actions.

The United States is a world leader in sustainable fisheries management. In fact, we led the way on the development of important sea turtle bycatch mitigation measures in longline fisheries and shrimp trawl fisheries. We are continuing to improve our efforts by developing new technologies and applying lessons learned to other trawl and gillnet fisheries. Here at NOAA Fisheries, we are also working across all of our programs to strengthen our bycatch efforts through revisiting and revising our National Bycatch Strategy. As seafood consumers, you can do your part by asking where and how your seafood was caught. NOAA Fisheries provides easy-to-understand information on seafood at Fishwatch.gov.

We work every day to recover all of our trust resources. We ask that you join us and support our efforts to help sea turtles survive and thrive! Our conservation actions today will be our legacy to future generations. I encourage you to visit our Celebrate Sea Turtle Week webpage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and learn more about our programs and what you can do to help.


 


Eileen Sobeck
Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries