Clearwater Marine Aquarium released 29 green sea turtles at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, FL on January 25, 2018. All but one of these sea turtles stranded earlier this month during the cold snap that covered the U.S. and reached all the way down to Florida.
Since January 3, we have had over 70 live sea turtle intakes from Pinellas and the surrounding counties due to cold weather effects. In most of the cases, these sea turtles were already compromised with viruses, boat strikes and buoyancy issues. Low water temperatures and high winds can cause already sick sea turtles to become even more lethargic, and many have been found floating causing this influx of intakes to our facility.
On October 22, 2017, a juvenile green turtle with fibropapilloma tumors was found washed up in the mangroves. Fishing line was loosely entangling the turtle’s body, trapping it in the mangrove roots.
On September 23, 2017, a boater in Crystal River, Hernando County, Florida, found two green sea turtles entangled together in fishing line — later named Honeysuckle and Ivory.