The coast of north-west Madagascar is an important nesting and feeding ground for marine turtles, but little is known about populations in this area. From July to December 2000 we documented nesting activity of, and investigated threats to, green Chelonia mydas and hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata turtles at three sites along this coast: Nosy Iranja, the Radama Islands, and the Nosy Hara archipelago. Levels of nesting activity varied between sites, with green and hawksbill turtle nesting concentrated in different areas. The principal threats identified were opportunistic exploitation of nesting females and incidental capture in fishing nets. Commercial importance of marine turtles was negligible, suggesting conservation measures such as targeted environmental education could have beneficial impacts on these populations. Evidence for high levels of nesting activity reported here indicate that education efforts in these areas should be a conservation priority.