Confined Sea Turtles Released In Great Sound

June 27, 2017

Today [June 27], the Ministry of the Environment returned 38 green turtles collected from the high marine traffic area of the Great Sound back to western waters.

A spokesperson said, “A further eight of the smallest green turtles and three hawksbill turtles were released inshore in the East End in mid June, and it is expected they are now making their way west.

“When the sea turtles were collected in late May, they were measured, weighed, photographed, micro-chipped and numbers were painted on their shells. It is estimated that the turtles ate 50 or more heads of lettuce per day while enclosed near the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo [BAMZ].

Sea Turtles Bermuda June 27 2017 (2)

“They were fed at the deepest point of the enclosure by submerging trays of lettuce arranged to mimic sea grass beds. In this way, human interaction was minimized to prevent habituation.”

“While protection of the turtles from heightened marine traffic was the principal aim, we were able to closely monitor this group of green sea turtles. That has added information to our database that some turtles are dealing with very high parasite burdens,” said Dr. Ian Walker, Principal Curator and Veterinarian, BAMZ.

Dr. Mark Outerbridge [Wildlife Ecologist with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources] and  Dr. Ian Walker [Principal Curator and Veterinarian at BAMZ]

Sea Turtles Bermuda June 27 2017 (1)

“BAMZ keeps detailed records of all turtles that pass through our hands, whether this group or the turtles brought to us by members of the public for treatment or necropsy. Based on all our data, we think that disease resulting from high parasite burdens is becoming increasingly common.

“As high parasite burdens, often related to malnutrition, is now one of the leading causes of turtle morbidity and mortality in Bermuda, BAMZ is actively pursuing research to better understand and deal with this issue.”

Sea Turtles Bermuda June 27 2017 (3)

Before release, the turtles were weighed and had flipper tags attached. A very small DNA sample was taken from each individual turtle before groups of turtles were taken by boat to the area where they were first collected in the Great Sound. This is so that these individual turtles can be readily identified if they are returned to BAMZ.

The turtles were transported on their backs on beds made from swimming noodles to keep them from moving. They were kept cool and hydrated in transit.

Now that they are back in the Great Sound, their purpose-built, temporary enclosure will be dismantled.

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (23)

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  1. Mad dog says:

    You are going to tell me they took all the turtles out of the great sound those more lies for the OBA

    • Cedar Berry says:

      They never claimed to. In fact they very clearly stated that they knew they couldn’t remove all of them in the articles leading up to their transfer. Go back and research. They’re not making any false claims here. Big assumptions, and you know what they say.

      • Mad dog says:

        Shame on all of you…so what you are really saying is that some of them were killed…

        Just for a boat race for the rich people you environment People need to stop being so hypocritical

        Can someone tell me were is Stewart Hayward
        O I forgot the OBA is the Government

        • Spectator says:

          You’re an idiot lmfao…

        • Ringmaster says:

          This has nothing to do with the OBA (or PLP). Unfortunately turtles are killed all the time by boats operated by Bermudians, balloons, furniture (remember the large turtle found drowned off Harbour Road?). BAMZ took the step to remove some turtles from harms way, and must have been successful or there would be reports of dismembered turtles in the Great Sound.

          Get real and for once see the reason without being political and try and be positive.

    • Porgy says:

      Yes. They were caught in the Sound. They were at the back of the Aquarium for 6 weeks and now they are released. The Bermuda Turtle Project tags a few hundred turtles every year. The Aquarium do this type of stuff all the time. It is pretty standard for them.

    • Cedar Berry says:

      I did your research for you. The above article says 38 were returned to the Great Sound, and another eight to the east (total=46). Where does that say ‘all’?

      And here’s a quote from BAMZ from their May 10, 2017 statement:

      “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.”

      • Mad dog says:

        Shame on all of you…so what you are really saying is that some of the little turtles were killed by the americas cup boat..what a shame

        Just for a boat race for the rich people you environment People need to stop being so hypocritical

        Can someone tell me were is Stewart Hayward
        O I forgot the OBA is Government..what a shame

        • Cedar Berry says:

          I have no idea if any were killed by any boats out on the water. But based on statistics, the whole point was to reduce the risk of that happening the best they could. It’s called prevention. The turtles aren’t in a cage, it’s open water and they have free range to go anywhere. Be realistic.

          And BAMZ work for animals, not people. It’s kind of their job. Some people actually believe animals have rights too. Also BAMZ has operated through all governments, not just the OBA. If the government of the day changes, they’ll continue to work for animals.

          Oh, and there will always be boats on the water, just not as many or going as fast. They always advocate for marine life and ask marine traffic to look out for turtles.

        • Point boy says:

          Get a cat

        • shakinerah says:

          Is your suggestion that they should not have been moved? Or that we should not have hosted the Americas Cup? Or that we should avoid using motor boats and stick with oars?

    • Onion Juice says:

      Sounds like invading a community, breaking up families, taking them out of their natural enviroment, putting your identity on them to monitor them and incarcerate them for being green.
      Sounds familiar !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • sandgrownan says:

        Oh f*@% off. Jesus christ, what a miserable a**wipe you are.

        A non political story about decent folk doing good things. You must be a blast at parties.

        • Onion Juice says:

          Who said anything about politics?
          Did I strike a nerve?

          • Spectator says:

            de funniest thing is in real life you’re not really like this…

            • shakinerah says:

              this is real life.
              perhaps you mean with your name held out and when one is accountable for their actions.

      • Nikon says:

        Wow…lets think on that…”they” seem to do this a lot don’t “they”…

      • Wahoo says:

        When did all that happen?

    • Make a new plan Stan says:

      No they didn’t collect all the turtles that were in The Great Sound……more than a few were still out there getting injured during the last 6 six weeks with the increased marine traffic.

    • Hubert Watlington says:

      So many people with so much negativity, did you see the number of Boats in the great sound, thank goodness we could save a bunch of turtles form being exposed to that. Well done Aquarium turtle team.

      People you live in a beautiful place, we are blessed, try to be happy.

      • Onion Juice says:

        We are trying to be happy living in a beautiful place, but with outside influence trying to force their lifestyle and throw their money around trying to convince us that we are homophobic and racist is just tearing de @$$ out of it.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Well, Bermudians are homophobic and racist.