Giant leatherback turtle, weighing more than 1,100 pounds caught in Philippines

A leatherback sea turtle on a beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on the planet and were once found in every ocean except for the Arctic and Antarctic.
Caption
A leatherback sea turtle on a beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on the planet and were once found in every ocean except for the Arctic and Antarctic.

giant leatherback turtle, weighing more than 1,100 pounds was caught Wednesday by fishermen in the Philippines.

>> Read more trending news

The sea turtle was caught in the Ragay Gulf in Balatan, Camarines Sur.

Officials with the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources weighed and measured the turtle, which weighed in at 1,102 pounds and measured almost 6 feet long, before releasing it back to the sea.

Leatherbacks, sometimes called the lute turtle or leathery turtle, is the largest turtle on the planet and can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 2,000 pounds.

It was once plentiful in every ocean in the world except for the Arctic and Antarctic, according to National Geographic, but the leatherback population is on the decline in many areas.

Explore>> Trending: Great Pacific Garbage Patch 16 times larger than estimates: 87,000 tons of plastic and growing

The animal got its name from its unusual shell, which is "composed of a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin, strengthened by thousands of tiny bone plates that makes it look 'leathery,'" the Sea Turtle Conservancy said.

The conservancy said the largest leatherback ever caught was almost 10 feet long from its beak to it tail and weighed almost 2,020 pounds.