Now that the waters have warmed and sea turtles have returned, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is urging all fishermen to take steps to avoid interaction with them.


Now that the waters have warmed and sea turtles have returned, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is urging all fishermen to take steps to avoid interaction with them.



All species of sea turtles found in North Carolina waters are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, and unpermitted interactions with these animals are illegal. This includes interactions that occur with commercial and recreational fishing gears, the division said.



For guidelines on how to avoid sea turtles while fishing and what to do if you catch one, go to: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/observer/fishing-guidelines.



Any fisherman that catches a sea turtle should release it unharmed, if possible. If the turtle is injured, lethargic or comatose, call either the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Sea Turtle Stranding Hotline at 252-241-7367 or the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries at 800-682-2632