17 Sep2014




Last week we received a violation report by a concerned member of the diving community about two turtles in captivity at a fish restaurant. The two turtles were located and were found in very bad conditions in a small container, not allowing them any movement. One of the turtles was a Green Turtle , the other a Hawksbill Turtle. The green turtle suffered from several wounds on the front flippers, and the Hawksbill turtle was suffering from irregular ventilation. Both turtles were medically treated at Hepca's Marsa Alam office, and they were both named and tagged as following:Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): Yassin EGY 00095-96Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata): Khadijah EGY00091-92 On the 11th they were both released in Marsa Ijlah, the green turtle was able to swim and feed immediately, while the Hawksbill was unable to dive to feed and kept floating, it was taken back to the office and treated for a respiratory infection, and after a day of rehabilitation at Marsa Nakari Ecolodge, on the 12th of October it was released at marsa nakari and was able to dive and feed. Due to the lake of environmental awareness, distorted images by media; often people don’t understand the dimension of keeping wild animals in captivity. Both turtles were purchased by the restauanrt owner for 700 EGP from a local fisherman, and he kept them for weeks in very bad conditions. Research has shown some negative effects of sea turtles that live in captivity. Many of them never reach their proper size. Often believed this is due to the area they are kept in not being large enough to allow them to do so. In captivity turtles would easily suffer from disease and bacteria that form in confined environment. This can weaken their immune systems and even kill them if the problem can’t be identified and resolved right away. The biggest concerns are developing skin and eye infections while in captivity. Hawksbill and green sea turtles are protected by Egyptian law and listed as Endangered (species faces a very high risk of extinction) internationally under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas): Yassin EGY 00095-96 was released in Marsa Ijlah on the 11th of October 2014. The Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata): Khadijah EGY00091-92 was released on the 12th of October at Marsa Nakari. Special thanks to Marsa Nakari Ecolodge for supporting the rehabilitation period and providing a wide tank for the Hawksbill turtle to recover in.

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