A project of Mote Marine Laboratory.
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Species: Green Turtle
Life Stage: Juvenile
Release Date: 2008-02-15 15:00:00
Release Location: Sarasota Bay National Estuary
Last Location: 2008-03-23 16:59:12
L. Susan Stark
Geddy & Casey Fotland
Deer Creek Elementary 1st Grade QUEST
Mr. Clint and Ms. Ashley's Pre-K class 2008
Catherine & Greg
St. Francis de Sales Third Grade Class
The juvenile green sea turtle was accidentally caught by recreational fishermen on Dec. 29, 2007 in eastern Sarasota Bay in Manatee County. The animal was released immediately, but it had difficulty in diving so the turtle was brought to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital for treatment.
Tuck was examined by Mote Chief Veterinarian Dr. Charles Manire upon arrival at the hospital. The turtle’s general health was good, except for minor aspiration pneumonia, a consequence from inhaling seawater during the incident and hook-related mouth wounds. Mote’s animal care team monitored the turtle for six weeks while the turtle regained its appetite and strength and Tuck was declared ready for release by Dr. Manire and state officials.
Tuck’s release offers an opportunity to learn more about juvenile turtles of this endangered species in the shallow sea grass area of Sarasota Bay National Estuary. Populations of juvenile greens are recovering in the Gulf of Mexico during recent times. In fact, in the early 1900s the Gulf Coast – between Crystal River and Cedar Key – was a center of green sea turtle harvest operations.
Partial funding for Tuck’s follow-up monitoring comes via contributions made in memorium of the late Chuck Shumard, who was a former mayor of Anna Maria Island and a devoted local turtle conservationist. It honors his interests by learning about turtles in his backyard of Sarasota Bay.
Here are tips for anglers that apply to turtles and dolphins:
• Check your gear and terminal tackle to make sure they are in good shape and will not break too easily, resulting in a lost fish with a hook that could be eaten by a turtle or dolphin.
• Do not cast your line toward a sea turtle or dolphin.
• Avoid fishing in an area where dolphins or turtles are active – they may mistake bait or catch for food.
• Use corrodible hooks – any hook other than stainless steel. It may take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks or more for a corrodible hook to dissolve.
• Stow used fishing line. Make sure to collect any broken or used fishing lines to discard in recycling bins (Please visit the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program Website for a list of bin locations: http://floridaconservation.org/mrrp/bin_information.asp.) If a recycling bin is not available, please discard line in another secure bin. It’s against Florida law to intentionally discard monofilament into area waters because such line can kill or injure marine mammals, birds and sea turtles.
• Finally, if you see an injured dolphin, marine mammal or sea turtle, contact state wildlife officials or, in Sarasota, Charlotte or Lee counties, call Mote Marine Laboratory’s Stranding Investigations Program pager at 941-988-0212.