Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network
Members of the STSSN work together to inform the causes of sea turtle strandings by collecting data, documenting wounds and abnormalities, transporting sick and injured sea turtles to permitted rehabilitation facilities, and helping to educate the public about sea turtle conservation.
All sea turtles that occur in U.S. waters are listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. To advance the conservation and recovery of listed sea turtles, each sea turtle recovery plan developed jointly by NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifies and highlights the need to maintain an active stranding network. As a result, the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network was formally established by NOAA Fisheries in 1980 to document strandings of sea turtles along the coastal areas from Maine to Texas and in portions of the U.S. Caribbean.
The Network is a cooperative effort comprised of federal, state, and permitted private partners working to inform causes of morbidity and mortality in sea turtles by responding to and documenting sea turtles, found either dead or alive (but compromised), in a manner sufficient to inform conservation management and recovery. The STSSN accomplishes this through the following:
- Collection of data in accordance with STSSN protocols.
- Improved understanding of causes of death and threats to sea turtles in the marine environment.
- Monitoring of stranding trends.
- Provision of initial aid to live stranded sea turtles.
- Provision of sea turtle samples and parts for conservation-related research.
- Availability of timely data for conservation management purposes.
While NOAA Fisheries coordinates the Network, it is the participating local organizations that respond to stranded turtles, collect scientific data, transport sick and injured turtles to rehabilitation facilities, and help educate the public about sea turtle conservation.
Report a Stranded Turtle via Public Hotlines
Numerous permitted organizations are trained and ready to respond. If you see a sick, injured, entangled, stranded, or dead sea turtle, immediately contact your local stranding network.
Information for Network Members
Member Reporting Forms
Instructions for Stranding Report Form (PDF, 2 pages)
Stranding Report Form (front) (PDF, 1 page)
- Stranding Report Form (back) (PDF, 1 page)
Data and Reports
The Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network collects data in their respective areas and contributes to a centralized database maintained by our Southeast Fisheries Science Center.
Public Data Access and Release Policy
Any publication or use of this data must credit the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network. Users with the intent to publicly present or publish this data should consult and collaborate with contributing network coordinators. Preliminary data posted on this site is subject to change and is not recommended for use in publications and analyses.
In order to access the data, please know the zone information you are looking for. To learn more, please see these regional statistical zone maps:
The Network maintains online weekly reports dating back to 1998. All six sea turtle species known to inhabit the waters of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are included (loggerhead, green, Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, leatherback, and olive ridley).
Contact the Network
State Coordinators for the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.