The Coast Guard rescued an enormous leatherback sea turtle from a fishing net over the weekend off the coast of New Jersey.
A recreational fisherman spotted the entangled turtle on the high seas roughly 30 miles off the coast of New Jersey. A Coast Guard crew stationed in Atlantic City and a member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigatine, NJ responded to the scene. You can watch the rescue below.
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Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Giannaris, a member of the Coast Guard rescue team, said it was one of his favorite experiences in the service.
“Just seeing the animal so close and helping marine life. Everyone was pretty energized about the whole experience,” Giannaris told reporters.
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest living species of turtles, and the fourth heaviest reptile in the world. They are found all over the world.
Discarded fishing gear is dangerous to marine wildlife. Animals often have no way of escaping from discarded fishing nets, line and hooks once they become entangled or trapped. Remember to properly dispose of your line and tackle and pick up trash so that marine wildlife species can live on.
Have you ever rescued wildlife in peril? Share your story in the comments section below.