The Shell-ebrities of the Sea
The first time you spot a sea turtle bobbing along by one of the jetties in Port Aransas, there’s almost certainly going to be plenty of pointing, whisper-shouting to those around you, and, of course, photographs. The excitement is indescribable. Even after the thousandth time, though, these small creatures are awe-inspiring.
Kemp’s Ridley, Green, and Loggerhead sea turtles have all been spotted on the shores of Port Aransas. The most common sea turtle species found in Port A is the Kemp’s Ridley. These turtles can be found in the water year-round swimming near the large granite rocks on the north, south, and little jetties. They eat shellfish, jellyfish, seaweed, and sargassum.
The main threats to sea turtles are bycatch in fishing gear, marine debris, and pollution in the Gulf. Turtles can become entangled in or consume discarded fishing line, plastic bags, and balloons.
If a sea turtle is found out of the water and on the beach it is likely because they are nesting, injured, sick, or dead. Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles nest on the beach between April and July. Nests are moved to protected areas and monitored until they hatch.
If you see a stranded or nesting sea turtle, call the Turtle Hotline: 1-866-TURTLE5.