Sea Turtle Rescue
Today we went out with Ard Vreugdenhil from Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao. Ard was going to teach us and another instructor from Go West Diving how to safely catch sea turtles. How to remove hooks and fish lines in which they get entangled and how to safely put them back in the water. After a theoretical part we entered the water to find some sleeping turtles to practice on.
We already knew one turtle, Pointy, had fish line around one one fin for a couple of weeks already. Every time volunteers went in the water to look for her however they could not find Pointy. Guess what? The first turtle we found sleeping on the sea bottom was Pointy! Since it was very important Pointy would be helped as quickly as possible Ard went to down to get her himself. We could not risk one of us trying to get her and let her slip and swim away.
He took her out of the water and we tried to remove the line from her fin. Sadly it was so deep in her flesh already it was better to take her to Odette Doest. (the veterinarian who helps out STCC more often). This meant the end of our first training as well, but we will take this up again another time. For now the Sea turtle rescue was most important!
Local fishermen came immediately to ask what we were doing to the turtle and tell us that we had to put it back into the water because it’s an endangered species. After explaining what we were doing they understood and wished us a good day.
We hope to be able to assist in Sea Turtle Rescues more often, and make people more aware why it’s important not to use lines and hooks in areas where turtles live, so we can enjoy them on our guided dives.