Turtle trade in the fish markets of Alexandria was reported up to the late 1990s, motivating conservation initiatives and enforcement of legal protection. To assess the current trade and bycatch levels in Alexandria and other ports we carried out an interview survey of 445 people in 2007, mostly fishermen and fishmongers, in 15 coastal cities and fishing ports along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The declared catch rates and official fishing fleet statistics suggest that captures of loggerhead Caretta caretta and green turtles Chelonia mydas are in the order of several thousands per year, possibly > 7,000 per year, mainly from trawling, longlining and set nets. Probably several hundred turtles die each year as a consequence of the high mortality rates typical of these fishing gears. In addition, most fishermen from Alexandria and some fishermen from other regions declared that they kill turtles for meat. Regulations and enforcement appear to be ineffective, as turtles are usually killed and consumed on board or only their meat is landed. Some turtles are still traded on the black market in some Alexandria fish markets. The overall mortality probably represents an unsustainable toll on the Mediterranean loggerhead and green turtle populations, and the perception of fishermen is that turtle numbers are declining. Mitigating the identified threats is thus urgent. In particular, intentional killing should be tackled through its cultural drivers, and measures to reduce bycatch mortality need to be tested and implemented.