Greenfish Turtle Programme | #trackerforturbo | Fundraiser
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Greenfish is raising money for the Two Oceans Aquarium's education foundation to buy and fit a tracker to a rescued turtle. Join us as we follow the story from the very start of its rehabilitation programme right out until our turtle is roaming free in the ocean again. Together, we can raise awareness for this remarkable marine species and our oceans' surrounding ecosystems.
Greenfish has been involved in many of the 339 turtle rescues and rehabilitations performed by the Aquarium over the last 3 years. The data collected will also be used by the scientific community to help drive change for the better of our oceans.
Our heroes will be a sub-adult green turtle named Turbo, and about 40 hatchling loggerheads on their journey back to the ocean.
Every rand you donate will safely and securely go towards the turtle project at the two oceans aquarium, with our goal to raise enough funds to buy a tracker for Turbo.
Turtles are an indicator species of the overall health of our oceans as they traverse a large area in the sea that is shared by many other marine species. If turtles are doing well, our oceans are doing well. When they are in threat our oceans are in danger.
Turbo is a sub adult green turtle was rescued in De Hoop Nature Reserve on 6th October and was found by the Spill Tech team doing a beach clean up for ‘nurdles’. She / he was rushed to us by the De Hoop rangers.
She / he was covered in algae growth which was a sign that she/ he had been weak for some time.
Turtles only ever come ashore to nest and we have NO nesting beaches in the Cape so the fact that she / he was on the sand, meant help was essential. Any turtle found on the Cape shores should be rescued and NOT put back into the water.
It’s tough to know what may be the problem unless it’s an obvious injury but most often it can be plastic ingestion. In this turtles case it has already pooped out large pieces of plastic bags. We believe there is still more stuck in her / his gut and we help with special diet and medication.
It’s also hard to tell how old a turtle is but we estimate this one to be perhaps around 5. They only become sexually mature at around 20 so it’s hugely important to rehabilitate this beautiful turtle and release again when fully recovered.
This can take months or years depending on the severity of the injuries.
Risks and Challenges
One of the biggest issues turtles faces is plastic pollution, ghost fishing netting, human interference, climate change and being caught in the by-catch during industrial fishing methods. Let us not forget all the natural predators in the ocean these guys need to sidestep in order to survive.
Most turtles only reach sexual maturity at around 20-30 years old. So, each life matters with every successful release providing a significant boost to wild populations.
It would be great if we lived in a world where no human intervention was needed to help turtles and they could carry on in a clean ocean by themselves. Unfortunately many are in need of human assistance because of modern day living. This comes at a price. It cost around R8000 per 20-50g hatchling for a 6 month rehab and release. An adult can take 1-3 years at a cost of about R 50 000 per year.
Time and money are the biggest challenges in rehabilitation. Luckily there are many wonderful volunteers and staff member that help. If you not able to help out hands on, a few rand will go a long way. As South Africans many of us enjoy the outdoors, with most of us visiting the beach either on the warm water of the Indian Ocean or the crisp waters of your west coast’s Atlantic ocean. Lets each do something small today to make something great for the future.
Partner up with Greenfish to make a difference for our oceans now.