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Observer data from European purse seine vessels operating in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean (1995-2011) were used to assess spatial and temporal variation in sea turtle bycatch rates. Information from both free swimming school sets and sets made on drifting fish aggregating devices (DFADs) was included in the analysis. Overall the results indicate purse seine fisheries have a very low impact on sea turtles. Annual, 218 and 250 individual sea turtles were estimated to be captured by purse seine's operating in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean respectively. The majority, 75%, of these turtles were released alive. The study also suggests that DFADs may play a role in aggregating juvenile sea turtles.