The Maritime Aquarium is Norwalk has issued a warning to boat operators in Long Island Sound following the discovery yesterday of a dead loggerhead sea turtle on Long Beach in Stratford. The turtle, which died from propeller slashes to its shell, is the third to be found killed in local waters over the past two months, following a July 15 incident off Stratford and an Aug. 9 incident off Sheffield Island along the Norwalk coast.
In a statement, the aquarium noted that sea turtles are especially vulnerable to boat collisions when they rise to the surface for breathing or to warm themselves in the sun. David Hudson, a research scientist for the aquarium, requested that boat operators avoid using autopilot and to reduce their speeds when traveling through waters where turtles have been spotted.
“Three turtle deaths in the Sound is highly unusual – and completely unacceptable,” said Hudson. “Boaters need to know that, as Long Island Sound’s water quality improves, animals like sea turtles and dolphins and even humpback whales are returning. And so boaters can no longer race around the Sound at full throttle but only at half attention.”