FISHING NEWS AND FEATURES
(Feature Lane 3)
Posted August 22, 2010
Release the First Rescued, Rehabilitated Sea Turtles Back into the
(Fishing Wire)- NOAA administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco and
Adm. Thad Allen joined state, federal, and partner biologists today
as they released 23 Kemp's ridley sea turtles back into the
Gulf of Mexico
near Cedar Key,
Fla., after the turtles were successfully rescued and rehabilitated
from the effects of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.
Scientists selected the area on Florida's Gulf coast for release
because it is an important foraging area for the species, the water
was never oiled, and the habitat provides everything these turtles
need for survival.
"I'm pleased that Admiral Allen and I were able to assist with the
release of these turtles. And we thank all of our partners in this
rescue and rehabilitation effort," said Dr. Lubchenco. "This is a
wonderful day for all involved--but especially for the turtles."
"This area near Cedar Key provides excellent habitat for Kemp's
ridley sea turtles and has long been known as an important habitat
area for this species," said Barbara Schroeder, NOAA's national sea
turtle coordinator. "Thanks to the efforts of our rescue teams and
rehabilitation facility partners all of the turtles we released
today have an excellent chance of surviving in the wild and
contributing to the recovery of this species."
The turtles released today were rescued by teams from NOAA and
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission working with
partners from the Riverhead Foundation and the In-Water Research
Group. The turtles received excellent treatment and care, including
cleaning and de-oiling, at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans, and
at Gulf World in Panama City, Fla. The turtles were then cared for
by SeaWorld Orlando, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Florida
Aquarium. To date, approximately 500 live turtles have been rescued
during the Gulf oil spill, and more than 450 stranded or captured
turtles have had visible evidence of external oil. Approximately 350
turtles are still in rehabilitation facilities and will be released
as they are given clean bills of health.
"It's wonderful news that sea turtles hurt by the Deepwater Horizon
spill are now rehabilitated and ready to go home to the Gulf of
said Sen. Bill Nelson of
Florida. "This is a testament to the hard work of fish and wildlife
agencies and our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers."
"This is a great day for our biologists since many of these turtles
were originally rescued by our staff," said Gil McRae, director of
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and
Wildlife Research Institute. "Everyone involved has worked hard to
ensure that these endangered turtles are returned to the wild so
they can contribute to the overall population."
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environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun,
and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.Visit us
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sea turtle conservation, visit