Special Guests and Turtle Rescue at Sea

by | 10, Apr, 2016

             Special guests in Atlantic Eco Experience. Arrived no more and no less than from Finland, a team of production for Fox TV have accompanied us on a very interesting journey. In collaboration with our friends of Océano Sostenible (https://www.facebook.com/oceanosostenible/) we prepared a package of activities in the open sea and on the coast.

            The morning starts with the constant threat of storm and radio advices us of worsening conditions at sea. For past midday time storm was expected, so we should not delay any longer and leave with our visitors. Just outside the port they got to make the first shots with some bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) next to a fish farming cages.

          The day seemed would not allow many sightings of cetaceans because the sea began to churn increasingly, but to our surprise we were able to contact several groups of pilot whales (Globicepha macrorhynchus) and some were very curious with our boat. As we advanced north toward the Puertito of Armeñime, Mel, our captain, beside us saw a jumble of plastic in which immediately identified a turtle. As she steadied the ship, complicated thing given the conditions of wind and waves, we rushed to set the turtle free from the entangled mess.

      Plastic waste is a disaster for most marine species. We have recently come to know of the amount of plastic obtained from the stomachs of sperm whales stranded in northern Europe. Unfortunately it is very common to see turtles and other large vertebrate remains entangled to death in garbage at sea.

Loggerhead Turtle Rescue

          It was an immature specimen of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) in oceanic phase. This phase usually lasts for the first 6 to 12 years of age of the animal in which is carried away by the southern arm of the Gulf Stream. These transoceanic turtles come mainly from the US state of Florida.

        We struggle for a while to release the animal to get networks. Seizing the moment of intervention our  friends for sure have obtained a good shot filmed from the experience. By now we have a video taken with a mobile phone that can be seen in  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZaXqonI16U .

          The day was exciting also in the puertito of Armeñime where our friends Oceano Sostenible along with a team of veterinarians Center for Wildlife Recovery Tahonilla took out from the water a green turtle (Chelonia mydas). It is called Puka and has spent many years living in the area, and should have left the place to reproduce. Puka has a malformation in the shell that makes it hard to breathe out. Veterinarians take care of her a few days and will operate to improve her life’s quality.

Puka in the moment of being moved

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