PEI

Endangered Leatherback turtle saved by fishermen, DFO

Two fishermen from Cape Egmont, P.E.I. came upon a tangled turtle on Wednesday. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says what the fishermen found was an endangered Leatherback. It was wrapped up in lobster gear.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers helped cut the ropes and free the Leatherback turtle

Endangered Leatherback turtle saved by fishermen

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6 years agoVideo
1:34
Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers helped cut the ropes and free the massive turtle, which was unhurt 1:34

Two fishermen from Cape Egmont, P.E.I. came upon a tangled turtle on Wednesday. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says what the fishermen found was an endangered Leatherback. It was wrapped up in lobster gear.

An endangered Leatherback turtle got caught up in lobster gear on Wednesday. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

The fishermen contacted fisheries officials in Summerside for help. When the officers showed up, they were met by two lobster fishermen, one of whom was an 84-year-old. 

Kent MacRae is a fisheries officer. He said, "Once we got out there we found a turtle. It was about 4 miles off shore. It was heavily entangled. And it turns out it was three lobster traps that it was wrapped up in."

MacRae said the turtle was still strong but struggling with the weight of the traps. "Our guys did a great job. They got close to the animal and were able to cut all the lines off of it. It swam away on its own."   

According to the Fisheries and Oceans website, in Canada, Leatherbacks are in the waters off of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Researchers suggest the turtles are most abundant in Atlantic Canada from July through to the end of October.

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