To Report a Dead
or Injured Sea Turtle
Call 1-800-922-5431

Lights Out Bumper Sticker
SC Sea Turtle License Plate

Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network

Painted LoggerheadThe Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) is set up to provide statewide information on sea turtle strandings and to assess the effectiveness of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations. The STSSN is part of a multi-regional network coordinated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Aerial surveys augment the volunteer network. Network members document strandings on beaches. Members of the network consist of SCDNR staff, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees, and private citizens. Remote islands are surveyed by fixed wing aircraft. Volunteers are trained to correctly identify species and to properly collect data. Reports of unusual specimens are verified by the principal investigator whenever possible. All carcasses are measured in a standardized way as recommended by NMFS and marked with orange paint to avoid duplication of counts. Reports of strandings are submitted to the NMFS, Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami each week. Monthly reports are distributed to network members, federal agencies, conservation groups, and other interested parties. These data are compared with stranding numbers from previous years to evaluate the effectiveness of TED implementation. Click here for more information on sea turtle strandings.

Online stranding data can be viewed here: Live sea turtles are taken to the South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Care Center.

Stranding Network Species Identification Guide - This series of photographs with captions aids in identifying sea turtle carcasses. Methodology for measuring carcasses is also covered.

Find out who to call if you find a dead, sick, or injured sea turtle.

If you find a dead, sick, or injured sea turtle, please call SCDNR's 24-hour hotline 1-800-922-5431.

Please be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the exact location of the animal?
  2. Is the turtle alive or dead?
  3. What is the approximate size of the turtle?
  4. Is the turtle marked with spray paint? (This may indicate that the turtle has been previously documented.)
  5. What is the location of the closest access point to the turtle?

If the turtle is alive, please be prepared to stay with it until help arrives.