Conservation officials helped a pair of fishermen in the northern province of Thanh Hoa release an endangered 70kg turtle at sea last weekend.
Le Ngoc Sung accidentally caught the turtle in his fishing net on Friday, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
Sung and his colleagues bought the meter-long, brownish yellow creature to shore and notified the authorities of their catch, the paper said.
Provincial Aquatic Resources Officials identified the animal as an olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), a medium-sized species that enjoys strict legal protection due to its vulnerable conservation status.
The creature was released at sea on Saturday.
The species has been exploited for food, bait, oil, leather, and fertilizer. Even its eggs, which are considered a delicacy, are protected under Vietnamese regulations.
Other threats to its population include natural hatchling predators, boat propellers, and incidental catches from large-scale commercial fishing operations.