Saturday, 23 May 2009

World Turtle Day

Today (23rd May) is World Turtle Day.
A real treat to see one of those along our cost but they have occured in the 21st Century
We have had two, both were at the end of 2001. I can't remember the last time I noticed we had an influx of jellyfish but it could have been then. We must be due another one soon so keep your eyes peeling this summer.

The following is an extract of the information from these two strandings; the full document can be read at

UK & Eire Marine Turtle Strandings & Sightings
Annual Report 2002
R.S.Penrose. January 2003

A Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), that live-stranded on Preesall beach, Blackpool, Lancashire on the 29th November 2001 was driven to Weymouth for rehabilitation under the care of Julie Ions, Bio Services at Weymouth SeaLife centre.
Advice on rehabilitation techniques gathered by TIG, was forwarded to Julie and after nearly 4 months the turtle, now named ‘Shelly’, was successfully released back into the warmer waters of the Canary Islands on the 19th March 2002. Again, the kind assistance International and Gran Canaria state veterinarian Pascual Calabuig made the repatriation possible.
The event was documented by the TV programme “Pet Rescue”
'Shelly' being released back into the warmer waters of Gran Canaria by Julie Ions.
The photo courtesy of: Bournemouth News.

Originally reported and recorded as a Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta). The carcass had stranded at Knot End near Blackpool, Lancashire on the 30th December 2001.
The turtle was kindly stored at -20 C at the Fleetwood Museum until collection for full examination could be arranged within the DEFRA led ‘Collaborative UK Marine Mammal & Marine Turtle Strandings Project’.
Under post-mortem examination at the Zoological Society of London, the carcass was found to be a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).

On further examination a fragment of plastic was found lodged in the oesophagus together with other items of plastic in the stomach including a large fragment (approx. 10cm x 5cm) of blue balloon.
The entrance to the intestinal tract was completely blocked by seaweed, feather shafts and fragments of plastic. Cause of death was given as oesophageal impaction and stomach impaction resulting from ingestion of plastic.
At the time of stranding this animal represented the fifth recording of this species since 1748.

Beach litter soon turns into marine litter and becomes a serious problem! If anyone is considering having a ballon 'race' please, please, please don't.

For any one wanting to know more about what is regulary seen on our beach please go to

Where to next? The sky is getting darker and squallier and lunchtime approaches..the sea is beckoning.

In the meantime let us know how many turtles there are in your outback.

PS did see one once - Shark Bay WA.

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