A project of Large Pelagics Research Center in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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The Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC) has embarked on our fourth field season working with leatherback turtles in their foraging grounds off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. Since 2007, we have satellite tagged twenty-two leatherbacks including ten males, five females and seven sub-adults.
Our research goal for the 2012 season is to obtain high resolution GPS locations and time series data on depth and temperature from foraging leatherbacks. We will use this data to characterize leatherback habitat use on the northeast US shelf and identify important feeding areas in this region. Tags are programmed to transmit daily at a high frequency, so we anticipate track durations to be shorter than in previous years.
The Large Pelagics Research Center serves to promote research on the large pelagic species of the Atlantic including tunas, billfish, sharks and sea turtles. The long term goals of our research are to establish comprehensive information on highly migratory Atlantic species that can lead to improved fisheries management and stock rebuilding.
For more information about the LPRC leatherback research program, please visit our website at www.tunalab.org
All leatherback research activities are conducted under NMFS section 10 permit #15672.
The 2012 Massachusetts leatherback turtle research program is conducted in partnership between the UMass-Amherst Large Pelagics Research Center, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, New England Aquarium, and Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies.
Major funding for this work is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Species Recovery Grant NA10NMF4720028 awarded to the state of Massachusetts. Partial funding is provided through the National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Regional Office and the Department of Energy Grant DE-EE0002656, awarded to Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. on behalf of the Town of Edgartown Massachusetts in support of "Environmental Impacts of Sediment Transport Alteration and Impacts on Protected Species: Edgartown Tidal Energy Project".
We thank Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary for providing critical sightings information through their 1-888-SEA-TURT hotline. We'd also like thank Wildlife Computers Inc. for generously donating a tag for our 2012 season.