This morning a team of marine biologists from ARCA (Area Recovery and Conservation of Sea Animals) which took over the recovery of the loggerhead turtle, saved from certain death by José Luis Sober Galiana, skipper of the boat Horizonte I, and member of the Real Club Náutico Torrevieja, went to Torrevieja to return the animal to sea.
A delegation consisting of three ships of the Real Club Náutico carrying Germain Soler, President of the Real Club Náutico Torrevieja, John Rebagliato, vice president of the club, Juan Aimar, Marine Conservation technician of the Department of Environment, John A. Pujol, Biologist of Torrevieja and other staff of the rehabilitation center, as well as media and staff of the Real Club Náutico Torrevieja, put to sea to carry out this unique trip.
Since October the turtle remained in the Oceanographic Centre of Valencia where it underwent all kinds of medical tests and where the wounds caused by the plastic mesh, he was tangled in, when Jose Luis Sober rescued him, were treated. Also all of the adhesions that he got into his shell and skin, were removed.
The specimen comes from Florida in the United States, as the identification chip revealed, and has recovered in the turtle Sea Ark, a part of the Department of Environment.
The discovery of this specimen of loggerhead turtles is particularly relevant as evidence of the transatlantic migration of these species, which can enter the Mediterranean via Gibraltar and shows, at the same time, they are vulnerable to various threats, especially interaction with fishing gear and marine pollution.
The ID-number was sent to the University of Valencia, which was responsible for distributing data to other centers in turtle tagging.. The surprise came a few days later, when the NMFS Galveston Laboratory in Florida was contacted, where this species was born in 2003 and was discharged offshore in an influence area of the Gulf Stream off the coast of Fort Pierce in Florida in 2005.
The Department of Environment since two years mark all loggerhead turtles that are entered in the Sea Ark to keep a tight check on the movements and incidents that may happen.
Hence the importance of collaboration in recovery centers, not only in the Mediterranean, but on a global level, as demanded by the Department of Environment, who recently launched a joint initiative with other communities to raise awareness to citizens with regard to the problems of the loggerhead turtle, and especially fishermen, to cooperate with the government in collecting the stranded animals.
Do not forget that the recovery of these turtles would not be possible without the cooperation of the fishermen who deliver the turtles to rehabilitation centers after they catch them.
But not just anglers can assist in the conservation of these animals, any citizen who finds a turtle stranded on the beaches or with problems at sea can notify the responsible authorities in each community through the emergency number: 112.
The Ark of the Sea Conservation Animal Recovery, is located in the Oceanographic Centre of Valencia, as an extension of the facilities of the Animal Recovery Centre of El Saler.
This centre is the largest turtle domain in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. It has an area with 7 tanks (10,000, 5,000 and 4,000 liters) where the turtles spend their first days of recovery. The staff of the Department and the veterinary team of the Oceanographic Centre can control specimens after surgery, injury, or when suffered setbacks. Once the turtles start to improve they are transferred into an outside pool with a tunnel passing to the ocean, which functions as a fitness room and interaction area with other species.
In this manner, ever since the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of El Saler Farm works with injured and stranded sea turtles, about 300 turtles have been recived of which 90% recorvered, add was returned into our Mediterraanean.