This past weekend, the Devocean team paired up with our friends at the FAU Marine Research Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center to release young sea turtles back to the ocean!
Releasing these turtles is not as easy as releasing the older adults. Unlike the larger adults who are rehabilitated and released on the shore once they are strong enough and healthy again, these younger turtles are too small to be released right on the beach. Because of their small size, they are still prey to many predators. The team wants to ensure that these sea turtles have the best chance of survival to be able to live long and healthy lives.
In order to ensure these turtles are not targets to larger prey, the team took off from Boca Raton, Florida, and headed out into the Atlantic ocean to find a large batch of Sargassum offshore. Sargassum
is brown algae and is widely distributed in the warmer waters of the globe - the same seaweed that is typically found along the shoreline of the east coast of the United States. It is used by hatchlings and younger sea turtles as protection from predators, as well as a reliable food source, until they are large enough to survive on their own without the needed protection. Many young fish also take shelter in the sargassum beds until they are older and big enough to survive in the rest of the ocean. This is why it is vital to find a sargassum bed large enough to support the young sea turtles.
Thank you Devotees for your constant support in helping to ensure happy and healthy lives for these sea turtles. Without you - major accomplishments like these would not be possible! The Devocean team is so glad to have started the new year with the release of these beautiful creatures.
Together, let's make 2017 the best year yet for sea turtles everywhere!