Ireland’s seas are fortunate to host marine turtles as they make their ocean migrations seeking food and sometimes just meandering off course. 5 marine turtle species have been recorded in Irish waters:
- Leatherback Turtle
- Loggerhead Turtle
- Kemp’s Ridley Turtle
- Green Turtle
- Hawksbill Turtle
Of these, Leatherback Turtles are the most frequently recorded and Irish waters form part of its natural foraging range. The other species tend to be recorded as strandings, though at-sea records of loggerhead turtles have also been made.
As Ireland lies outside the natural range of most marine turtles (other than Leatherback) they are often found in a distressed and/or lethargic state when washed ashore here.
It is vitally important that any live stranded marine turtles are immediately reported to the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium on Facebook (@seaturtlerescueireland) or by telephone. A stranded turtle that looks freshly dead may still be alive, but lethargic.