Saving the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle

June 17, 2015

The leatherback is a most unusual species of sea turtle. In the Pacific, it's also among the most endangered.

NOAA Fisheries scientist Scott Benson with a leatherback sea turtle at a nesting beach in the Solomon Islands. Credit: NOAA.

NOAA Fisheries scientist Scott Benson with a leatherback sea turtle at a nesting beach in the Solomon Islands. Credit: NOAA.


Every June 16 we celebrate World Sea Turtle Day. Maybe you’re a big sea turtle fan and you’ve been anxiously awaiting this day all year. Or maybe you’ve never heard of sea turtle day. Well, for us here at NOAA Fisheries, Sea Turtle Day is a big deal because we work to conserve and recover sea turtle populations all along our coasts and in many parts of the world.

In celebration of Sea Turtle Day, today’s podcast is about leatherback sea turtles. Leatherbacks are the largest species of sea turtle out there, and they migrate farther than any other. And in the Pacific Ocean, they’re also among the most endangered.

To talk with us about leatherback sea turtles, we have Scott Benson on the line. Benson is a research biologist at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and he’s an expert on leatherback sea turtles.

In this interview, Benson discusses some of the threats that leatherbacks face and what scientists, conservationists, and fishermen are doing to address those threats. He also explains what measures you as a consumer can take to help protect leatherback sea turtles.

Last updated by Office of Communications on July 23, 2018