These photos depict only a fraction of the horrible scenes that play out every day as marine wildlife is caught and killed as bycatch in the California Drift Gillnet fishery. These images were obtained by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project through the Freedom of Information Act from NOAA.
The Leatherback Watch Program compiles sightings of Pacific leatherback sea turtles seen offshore of the West Coast of North America, where critically endangered Western Pacific leatherbacks migrate to feed on seasonal jellyfish blooms.
These special photos are formatted to share on Facebook and social media sites, complete with messages to announce Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day! For more photos of leatherbacks in California, visit the Leatherback Watch Program Photo Gallery.