700-pound sea turtle tagged off Nantucket found nesting in Puerto Rico

BOSTON (WHDH) - A 700-pound sea turtle that was tagged in Massachusetts has been located off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Earlier this week, three local sea turtle experts got a call from Puerto Rico that the more than 700-pound leatherback sea turtle had been found nesting on a beach last week.

Biologists there had identified Maeby from both her microchip and flipper tags that were attached while on the back of a lobster boat in Nantucket Sound in 2012.

The finding is also notable because biologists said in 16 years of monitoring leatherbacks nesting on the island they had never found a turtle tagged from somewhere else.

It is also the first time a leatherback from Puerto Rico had been identified feeding in New England’s summer waters. Nearly 75 percent of the turtles feeding in Massachusetts nest in Trinidad or French Guiana.

Maeby is expected to nest five to seven times this spring in Puerto Rico and then will likely head north up the East Coast.

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