Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Although the flesh of adult leatherbacks can sometimes be toxic, adults and eggs are used for food in some locations, and in a few places the oil from the bodies of adults is extracted for medicinal use and as a waterproofing agent.
Leatherbacks eat jellyfish that are pests for swimmers and fishermen, especially for marine fish-farming. Consumption estimates vary, one study estimated that adult leatherbacks probably eat about 1000 kg of jellyfish per year, an earlier study estimated 2900-3650 kg/yr.
Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 2007. "Leatherback Sea Turtle" (On-line). Accessed 11/26/07 at http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/SpeciesReport.do?spcode=C00F.