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Monitoring

CELEBRATING SEA TURTLE RELEASES

In celebration of NOAA Fisheries Sea Turtle Week, June 16-20, 2014, we are proud to share with you some of the sea turtles we've had the privilege and honor of releasing back into the ocean.

These fortunate animals were rehabilitated by NOAA's Sea Turtle facility in Galveston, and through a collaboration with Flower Garden Banks NMS, were released from R/V MANTA. These are their stories.

Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image
Photo credits: FGBNMS

Hawksbill
April 2011

This young hawksbill was found stranded on Pirates Beach on the West End of Galveston Island. It was very lethargic, with heavy algae growth and gooseneck barnacles on its shell. It had a constriction wound on a front flipper, and was missing 3/4 of a rear flipper. This turtle was released in July 2012 close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

 

Hawksbill sea turtle resting on a towel after rescue
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Hawksbill
May 2011

This juvenile hawksbill was found stranded in sargassum mats on Quintana Beach in May 2011. It was lethargic, emaciated and covered in a lot of algae. It was released close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in July 2012.


Woman releasing a sea turtle into the ocean from the back platform of a boat.
Research Specialist Marissa Nuttall releases a
rehabilitated hawksbill.
Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl

Hawksbill
May 2011

This little hawksbill was found stranded on Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula in May 2011. It was very lethargic and emaciated and had gooseneck barnacles growing on its shell. It was released close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in July 2012.

 

Sea turtle floating amid sargassum at the surface of the sea
Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl

Hawksbill
June 2011

This juvenile hawksbill was found stranded on Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula in June 2011. It had algae growth on its head and shell, as well as some gooseneck barnacles on its shell. It was released close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in July 2012.

 

A man releasing a sea turtle from the back platform of a boat
NOAA Sea Turtle Technician Andy Kraus releases
a rehabilitated hawksbill.
Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl

Hawksbill
July 2011

This little hawksbill was found stranded in Galveston Island State Park in July 2011. It was tangled in an onion sack and had constrictive wounds on both front flippers. One flipper was so damaged that it had to be amputated. It also had extensive algae coverage on its shell. This turtle was released happy and healthy close to FGBNMS in August 2012. 

 

A man holding a sea turtle ready for release
R/V MANTA chef extraordinaire, Jeremy Fox, helps with
a sea turtle release.
Image: FGBNMS/Hickerson

Hawksbill
July 2011

This juvenile hawksbill was found on Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula in April 2011, covered in algae growth and some barnacles. It had a wounded rear flipper tip with bone protruding. It recovered and was released in July 2012 close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

 

A woman on a boat platform hands a turtle to a woman in the water.
Research Coordinator Emma Hickerson hands a rehabilitated turtle to Research Specialist Marissa Nuttall. Image: FGBNMS Schmahl

Hawksbill
August 2011

This juvenile hawksbill was found stranded on the beach along the Seawall in Galveston in August 2011. It had a nylon woven sack wrapped lightly around the neck and front flippers. It was released close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuar in July 2012.

 

A sea turtle tangled in sargassum on a beach
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Hawksbill
August 2011

This small hawksbill was found stranded on Jamaica Beach on the west end of Galveston Island in August 2011. This turtle was very lethargic and emaciated, with a severe constriction wound on the left front flipper caused by an onion sack. The flipper injury was severe enough to require amputation, but the turtle made a full recovery and was released in July 2012 close to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

 

Woman on boat handing a sea turtle to a woman in the water
Research Coordinator Emma Hickerson hands a turtle to Research Specialist Marissa Nuttall. Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl

Kemp's Ridley
July 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was hooked on the front flipper by a fisher on Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula in July 2012. It was released offshore Galveston in September 2012. 

 

Kemp's Ridley resting on sandy beach
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Kemp's Ridley
July 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was entangled in recreational fishing gear east of the San Luis Pass in July 2012. A hook was removed, and the animal was released offshore Galveston in September 2012.

 

Man holding sea turtle ready for release
Captain Mike Shetler helps with a sea turtle release.
Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl

Kemp's Ridley
August 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was hooked in the shoulder by hook in August 2012 by a fisher on a Galveston fishing pier. It was released offshore Galveston in September 2012.

 

Kemp's Ridley resting on towel prior to release
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Kemp's Ridley
August 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was caught by fishers using hook and line at Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula in August 2012. Hooks (new and old) were removed from the tongue of the turtle. Shell injuries were noted along the margins of both sides of the shell, but were probably old. It was released offshore Galveston in September 2012.

 

Kemp's Ridley resting on deck prior to release
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Kemp's Ridley
August 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was caught by fishers on Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula in August 2012. It was released offshore Galveston in September 2012.

 

A man holds a sea turtle ready for release
Captain Darrell Walker holds a sea turtle ready
for release.
Image: FGBNMS/Schmahl

Kemp's Ridley
September 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was found stranded on the beach by the Sea Isle subdivision on the West End of Galveston in September 2012. It was lethargic, and had a lot of algae growth over the head, body, and flippers. It also had a front flipper missing. It was released offshore Galveston in September 2012.

 

Kemp's Ridley sea turtle resting on boat deck
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Kemp's Ridley
September 2012

This is a Kemp's Ridley that was found stranded on the beach by the San Luis subdivision near Surfside Beach in September 2012. It was missing half of a front flipper and all of a rear flipper. It was released offshore Galveston in September 2012.

 

Kemp's Ridley resting on deck of boat
Image: NOAA Fisheries

Kemp's Ridley
September 2012

This Kemp's Ridley was caught on a hook by a fisher on a Galveston fishing pier in September 2012. It was released offshore Galveston the same month.

 

A man holds a sea turtle ready for release
Craig Howard, from OceanGate Foundation, helps with a sea turtle release. Image: OceanGate Foundation

Kemp's Ridley
September 2012

This little Kemp's Ridley was caught on a hook at a Galveston fishing pier in September 2012, and was released that same month offshore of Galveston.

 

A man holds a Kemp's Ridley prior to release
Image: OceanGate Foundation

Kemp's Ridley
September 2012

This is an x-ray of a Kemp's Ridley that was caught on hook and line west of San Luis Pass in September 2012, and was released that same month offshore of Galveston. In some instances xray images are obtained to determine hook ingestion and placement to guide the actions of the rescue and rehabilitation crew. 

 

Xray image of a sea turtle showing a fishing hook caught in its throat
Image: NOAA Fisheries



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