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Cayman Turtle Centre 50th Anniversary Pirates Week Turtle Release

09 November 2018, 8:00 AM
Sci/Technology & Environment
radiocayman
Cayman Turtle Centre, established in 1968, celebrates 50 years of conservation with an historic Pirates Week turtle release. The Cayman Turtle Centre is marking its 50th anniversary in partnership with the annual Pirates Week Festival of the Cayman Islands, by releasing 25 captive bred yearling Green Sea Turtles at Spotts Public Beach on Sunday November 11th 2018 between 10am and 12 noon.
In 2018 alone the Cayman Turtle Centre has released more than one thousand turtles into the Caribbean Sea. 100% of these turtles have come from eggs laid on the beach within the facility, and nothing is taken from the wild. This celebratory release adds to the tremendous impact the Turtle Centre is making on repopulating the endangered green sea turtle in the wild.
The Centre has, in fact, been celebrating all year long with a large number of turtle release events and programs conducted throughout the May-October breeding season. This included many yearling “head started” turtles which have been released from beaches across all three islands. The releases have included hundreds of tiny 2 week old hatchlings, many of which for the first time where taken by boat into the safety of floating Sargassum seaweed, which acts like a nursery for the tiny turtles until they are big enough to venture out into the deeper ocean.
Hundreds of hatchlings were released in 2018 as part of the Cayman Turtle Centre’s Nest Translocation Program, which literally makes a ‘nest’ for turtle eggs on Cayman’s beaches by digging deep holes in the sand and covering them over, then under close 24-hour watch waiting for the baby turtles to hatch, and make their way down to the sea.
There is plenty for the Centre to celebrate, including scientific evidence that shows that 50% of turtles which lay their eggs on Cayman’s beaches have DNA from turtles released from the Centre years before.
For a long time, divers and snorkelers didn’t see many turtles around Cayman, but these days, thanks largely to Cayman Turtle Centre’s 50 years of conservation, more and more turtles are seen in the wild, and Spotts Beach is particularly well-known for turtle sightings and makes the perfect site for residents and visitors to the Cayman Islands to celebrate and watch these beautiful creatures return to their ocean home. All are welcome to join the festivities and participate in supporting the conservation efforts of the Cayman Turtle Centre. We look forward to seeing you there!
This year as the Centre celebrates its 50th birthday it remains the place where a quarter of a million visitors come every year to have a close encounter with turtles, reconnect with turtles, reconnect with nature and create memories that will be passed down through generations creating future champions for the environment and ocean conservation.
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