Experts say politics are putting marine species at risk.

Agreements between just a few countries could help save critically endangered marine species like leatherback sea turtles in Australia, according to international research.

An international research team has tracked 1,648 individuals from 14 migratory marine predator species to see how their movements related to geopolitical boundaries in the Pacific Ocean.

They found the species – which ranged from leatherback turtles to white sharks – collectively visited 86 per cent of the Pacific Ocean, crossing international borders with varying levels of protection.

Drastic declines in marine populations can be attributed to countries failing to cooperate across borders and in the high seas, and the current research should be used to inform future international agreements, the authors say.

The study is accessible here.