A First Blog! About Turtles...

A First Blog!  About Turtles...

Some say a blog is a good thing , others say it is a waste of time... What do you think?

Around Maui the ocean is the home of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that are often found nibbling on seaweed found on the rocks. they feast on the seaweed and you will see them as you snorkel near the shores. 

This image depicts some turtles by AnnTaylorArts.com artist Ann Taylor 

Hawaiian green sea turtles, or honu, are native to Hawaiʻi. They are the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world, reaching lengths of four feet and weighing over 300 pounds. Out of the seven types of sea turtle, the Hawaiian green sea turtle is the most common in Hawaiian waters.

Say Hello to the turtles at the Lagoon at the Maui Ocean Center and see them up close and in person without even getting into the water.

Ask about the behind the scenes Aquarium tour if you want an opportunity to feed the turtles.  Reservations needed. Mauioceancenter.com

In Trinidad and Tobago...

The largest of all living turtles, these ancient mariners have been swimming the world’s oceans for over 100 million years!  Unlike other species of sea turtles, Leatherbacks do not have a bony shell.  They get their name from the dark rubbery flexible shell which is marked by seven ridges and allows them to withstand the pressure of diving up to 4,000 feet below the surface of the sea.  They can weigh up to 2000lbs and 10feet in length, but more commonly average 5-7 feet and 1000 lbs.  They are found in all the world’s oceans.

Leatherback turtles are the most numerous sea turtle species nesting in Trinidad in Tobago.  This important nesting population is the third largest in the world.  Leatherbacks come from as far as Africa, Canada and the UK to nest on our beaches.  The most important nesting sites in Trinidad are Matura Bay, Fishing Pond, and Grande Riviere and Turtle Beach in Tobago.

Due to their immense size, leatherbacks only natural predators are sharks, killer whales and humans. They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.   Their greatest threat worldwide is the commercial fishing industry, especially the practices of long lining and drift netting.  Although they live in the sea, turtles are air breathing reptiles and when entangled in fishing gear, they drown.    Poaching of nesting females during the nesting season and entanglement in fishing gear remains a huge threat to this critically endangered species.

They are also particularly susceptible to ocean pollution, mistaking plastic bags for their favourite food, jellyfish.  In Trinidad and Tobago, Leatherbacks are also still seen as a traditional, seasonal delicacy.  The presence of SOS’s regular beach patrol, together with ongoing education and awareness campaigns has dramatically reduced the incidence of poaching that was once evident at Turtle Beach.  However many rural beaches still go unmonitored and poaching during the nesting season remains a huge threat to the species locally.