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The Green Turtle has a circumglobal distribution, occurring throughout tropical and, to a lesser extent, subtropical waters (Atlantic Ocean – eastern central, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, western central; Indian Ocean – eastern, western; Mediterranean Sea; Pacific Ocean – eastern central, northwest, southwest, western central). Green turtles are highly migratory and they undertake complex movements and migrations through geographically disparate habitats. Nesting occurs in more than 80 countries worldwide (Hirth 1997). Their movements within the marine environment are less understood but it is believed that green turtles inhabit coastal waters of over 140 countries (Groombridge and Luxmoore 1989
Like most sea turtles, green turtles are highly migratory and use a wide range of broadly separated localities and habitats during their lifetimes (for review see Hirth 1997). Upon leaving the nesting beach, it has been hypothesized that hatchlings begin an oceanic phase (Carr 1987), perhaps floating passively in major current systems (gyres) that serve as open-ocean developmental grounds (Carr and Meylan 1980, Witham 1991). After a number of years in the oceanic zone, these turtles recruit to neritic developmental areas rich in seagrass and/or marine algae where they forage and grow until maturity (Musick and Limpus 1997). Upon attaining sexual maturity green turtles commence breeding migrations between foraging grounds and nesting areas that are undertaken every few years (Hirth 1997). Migrations are carried out by both males and females and may traverse oceanic zones, often spanning thousands of kilometers (Carr 1986, Mortimer and Portier 1989). During non-breeding periods adults reside at coastal neritic feeding areas that sometimes coincide with juvenile developmental habitats (e.g., Limpus et al. 1994, Seminoff et al. 2003).