About the Hotline
The Sea Turtle Sighting Hotline for Southern New England Boaters is part of the ongoing sea turtle program at MassAudubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. The two primary goals of the hotline are: (1) to document where and when sea turtles are seen in southern New England waters, and (2) to alert boaters that sea turtles are present in the summer and fall so that boaters will both report sightings and make efforts to avoid striking the turtles. Boaters and fishermen have become important eyes on the water for reporting sea turtles, and their reports are helping researchers know where the turtles are concentrated and when they arrive and depart in any given year, indicating trends in habitat use. The hotline data points do not represent a systematic survey, nor do they represent an accurate count of sea turtles, because multiple calls may report the same turtle.
Sea turtle sightings can be reported by phone at 1-888-Sea-Turt or online at www.seaturtlesightings.org. If the turtle is entangled or injured, in need of immediate assistance, the observer is instructed to call 800-900-3622, the Center for Coastal Studies’ Disentanglement Hotline. Otherwise, the observer is asked to provide information about the sea turtle including: date, time, location, approximate size and other physical characteristics, and any additional comments. If the observer would like to ask questions or discuss the sea turtle sighting, he/she can leave a return phone number or email address and will receive a response promptly.