Not all heroes wear capes. On Saturday 16 January 2016, we got a call from a local Watamu fisherman who had unintentionally caught a Hawksbill sea turtle in one of his fishing nets.
We immediately acted on the call and sent out Fikiri, our By-Catch Net Release Programme Coordinator, to check on the health and wellbeing of the sea turtle before releasing it back into the ocean.
The youngest fishermen yet to participate in our Bycatch Release Programme rescue a very special turtle
Amos (13) and his younger brother, Elvis (12), went out fishing in Mida Creek this morning and came across a small hawksbill turtle trapped in the roots of the mangroves. The two boys rushed over to help the poor animal fearing that they may already be too late. They quickly set about trying to free the turtle and found to their relief that it was still alive.
What they didn’t know however, was that the turtle they had so bravely rescued, has a very special story.
A Fiesty Hawksbill Comes To Visit
Tenacious Polly was first seen by Local Ocean Trust in October 2009. Even as a juvenile, with a carapace length of just 46.1cm, Polly was looking to get her crushing jaws on any unsuspecting fingers! We tagged her with the number 4858 and set her free.
A Success Story from our Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Glen is a juvenile Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). This species is considered to be critically endangered worldwide according to the IUCN Red List.
Glen came to us through our By Catch Release Programme. Although he had been caught in a net, our Field Officers quickly noticed a deep wound on the top of the turtle's head. They brought Glen straight back to our Turtle Rehabilitation Centre for treatment.
The happy story of young Hawksbill
Sasha is a young Hawksbill turtle that came into our rehabilitation centre tangled in discarded fishing nets. This video tells her story.
A quick stop in our Rehabilitation Centre and then back to the ocean!
This Hawksbill Turtle has spent the last 36 hours in our Rehabilitation Centre. The turtle was covered in barnacles, it's underside was the worst affected but they were also on the top of the carapace, head and flippers. We kept the turtle in fresh water to loosen the barnacles and then gave it a good clean up before setting it free from a beautifully sunny Watamu beach today.
Young Hawksbill Recovering from Ghost Net Injuries
This young Hawksbill Turtle is the second 'ghost net' victim to be admitted to our Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre within a week. This video shows it enjoying some prawns in the tank.
Another Victim of Ghost Nets
This Hawksbill turtle was found by one of our nest monitors, Lewa, on his early morning beach patrol. The turtle was tangled in a large amount of discarded fishing nets. The nets had also entangled a sack which was full of sand and a substantially sized branch. This totalled nearly 3kg of weight for the turtle to drag around.
11,158 turtle releases and counting ....
We love being able to share with you the special moment when we are able to release turtles back to the ocean. It's an everyday occurence for us here at Local Ocean Trust but that doesn't make it any less of a magical experience every time. This recent release from Watamu beach on a lovely sunny day was a juvenille Hawksbill turtle. This is a critically endangered species and each one we are able to release back into the ocean makes a huge difference in reduce the decline of Hawksbill turtle populations.
Check out this video of our 11,158th release!
First Day of Service
Today the dream became a reality and the new car went out for its first day on the job and didn't have much time to rest as 9 turtes needed our help. Amazingly the first turtle that needed to be rescued was none other than three flippered Captain Hook.
Have you ever wondered what's it's like to be an Eco Visitor?
It’s 9.00am, your first day as an Eco Visitor at Local Ocean Trust. You’re jet lagged and wondering how you will ever adjust to Kenya’s steaming humidity, no time to worry though as you head off along a bumpy village track in the project’s van to rescue a turtle. She’s healthy and you are able to release her from the beach. You watch her find the water and disappear with hardly a splash back to the ocean. She is free and where she belongs thanks to you.
A huge milestone for our project!
On Monday 7th July we successfully completed our 11,000th turtle release through our by catch net release programme. Through this programme we work closely with around 350 fishermen who contact us when they have accidently caught a turtle in their fishing gear.
Green turtle saved by local vet
A stunning green turtle with fibropapillomatosis tumours, rescued, rehabilitated and released!