Additional Information On Sea Turtle Relocation

May 10, 2017 | 5 Comments

Starting this week, America’s Cup Bermuda [ACBDA], in cooperation with the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo [BAMZ], are coordinating the collection of sea turtles in anticipation of increased marine traffic in the Great Sound over May and June.

“It is well known in the sea turtle conservation community that where there are turtles and boats, there will be collisions. Every year, noticeably during boating season, the BAMZ Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre sees turtle injuries resulting from strikes from marine craft,” a spokesperson said.

“After considering the options, it was decided that the risks to the turtles resulting from collision outweighs the risks associated with a temporary holding period until there is a reduction in boating traffic.

“Turtles are currently captured and released annually via netting procedures as part of local research and conservation efforts. Bermuda has established procedures with experienced personnel. This effort will build on that expertise.

“The turtles will be released inside a purpose-built enclosure. The enclosure has two separate areas to allow separation of individuals by size. Soft material may be tethered tightly to the inside to prevent abrasions, if it is deemed necessary.

“The turtles will be monitored by trained personnel and qualified veterinarians. The immediate area adjacent to BAMZ is off limits to the public in order to maintain a calm environment for the turtles.

“While in captivity, the turtles in care will be fed lettuce and a special complete diet for sea turtles, as successfully practiced at BAMZ and other facilities around the world.

“They will be bottom fed using trays or tubes to minimize disruptions to their eating habitats and the food will be removed at the end of each feeding session. The costs are being shared by multiple organizations so no one entity carries the burden.

“It is not thought possible to collect every turtle considering that based on visual observations there are likely several hundred. Naturally, some turtles will not be captured and some may enter the Sound after the collection period ends. The aim is to try to protect as many turtles as possible.”

“Our goal and commitment is to provide the best possible care for these Bermuda’s sea turtles so we can release them back to the wild with as little interruption to their lifecycle as possible”, said Dr Ian Walker, Principal Curator of BAMZ.

Mike Winfield, CEO of ACBDA noted, “It is our sincere hope that the spotlight this shines on the difficulties sea turtles encounter—whether from cast off fishing lines, discarded plastics which they mistake for food, or watercraft—will heighten public awareness about the hazards they face and lead people to make changes to their behaviour.”

The boating public is encouraged to assist in the conservation of sea turtles by travelling at slower speeds and strictly observing no wake zones, and being on the watch for turtles.

If you find an injured or deceased sea turtle call the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre on 297 1010 or VHF Channels 16 or 27.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Make a new plan Stan says:

    “The costs are being shared by multiple organizations so no one entity carries the burden.”

    “After considering the options, it was decided that the risks to the turtles resulting from collision outweighs the risks associated with a temporary holding period until there is a reduction in boating traffic.”

    “Naturally, some turtles will not be captured and some may enter the Sound after the collection period ends.”

    “Our goal and commitment is to provide the best possible care for these Bermuda’s sea turtles so we can release them back to the wild with as little interruption to their lifecycle as possible”

    “It is our sincere hope that the spotlight this shines on the difficulties sea turtles encounter—whether from cast off fishing lines, discarded plastics which they mistake for food, or watercraft—will heighten public awareness about the hazards they face and lead people to make changes to their behaviour.”

  2. wahoo says:

    Well said thank you.

  3. BRIER says:

    HEY PEOPLE LEAVE THEM TURTLES ALONE

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