Dead loggerhead turtle washes up on Mathews beach

- Posted on Jul 24, 2019 - 03:55 PM

A dead loggerhead sea turtle was found floating along the Mathews shoreline across from Rigby Island last week.

Chris Bridge of Diggs, who found the animal, said that the Virginia Aquarium Mammal and Sea Turtle stranding team in Virginia Beach told her that the damage the creature appeared to have sustained might indicate that it had died from a collision with a large boat or ship.

Because of the state of decomposition of the turtle and budget constraints, said Bridge, the aquarium did not retrieve it for research purposes.

Bridge said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had confirmed that all loggerhead sea turtle populations are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The biggest threats they face, she said, are bycatch in fishing gear, loss and degradation of nesting habitat, vessel strikes, and entanglement in marine debris. Ingesting plastic is also a threat to the species, she said.

Anyone who finds an injured or dead sea turtle, dolphin, whale or other marine mammal should call the Virginia Aquarium at 757-385-7575.

In addition, VIMS coordinates with the aquarium and may be contacted locally at 804-684-7313 or via email at turtles@vims.edu.