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Injured Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Rescued

Injured Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Rescued by the Duke Adventure boat

While on a recent tour, the Duke adventure boat rescued an injured Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle in our drag net.  It was discovered that the seat turtle had a hook caught in it’s throat.  The Duke Capt. Ray brought the sea turtle on board and contacted the “Share the Beach”, sea turtle rescue volunteer group.Their volunteers met the Duke adventure boat at the Dauphin Island Marina dock to take this injured turtle to the vet.  What a great group of volunteers!

It’s such a good feeling when everyone works together!  We wish this little sea turtle a speedy recovery!

Capt. Ray said that we very rarely catch any turtles in the net- because of the TED.

What is a TED. TED is a Turtle Excluder Device. Bycatch in shrimp trawls has been a major threat to sea turtles world wide. Shrimp are caught using an otter trawl, a cone-shaped net towed behind a boat that can scoop up everything in its path, including unwanted fish and sea turtles. Sea turtles will likely drown if they are caught in the net.

To reduce this threat, the U.S. required all shrimp trawlers to install turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets starting in 1987. The TED is attached to a shrimp trawling net and is a grid of metal bars that has an opening at the top or bottom, creating a hatch that allows sea turtles and larger fish to escape. Small animals such as shrimp go between the bars and are caught in the end of the trawl. http://marinelife.about.com/od/conservation/g/turtleexcluderdevices.htm

TED Turtle Excluder Device

This little guy was big enough to escape, but I think his injury had slowed him down enough that he couldn’t find his way out.  If he was a healthy guy this same size, he would almost definitely not have been caught in our net.

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

This lucky turtle spent the night under the watch of Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientists and went this morning to have surgery at the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies. Thanks to the responsible boat captain of the Duke Adventure boat and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientists, this critically endangered sea turtle will be able to go back to the Gulf of Mexico and swim a happy turtle life. Good work DISL! Thanks for all you do! https://www.facebook.com/SouthMobileCountyTourismAuthority