In partnership with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Sea Turtle Facility in Galveston, TX, the Flower Garden Banks research team assisted with the release of 7 rehabilitated hawksbill sea turtles July 18-19, 2012.
All of the turtles were originally found sick or injured along the Texas coast, many of them entangled in marine debris. The NMFS sea turtle facility rehabilitated these animals, getting them back to full health before releasing them back into the Gulf of Mexico.
The first few turtles were released near oil and gas production platforms where sea turtles often hang out. However, the turtles didn't seem very interested in the platforms.
The remaining turtles were released near large mats of sargassum floating on the surface and seemed to find this quite acceptable. They immediately swam into the algae for cover.
Thanks to the NOAA Fisheries sea turtle facility for its hard work rescuing these endangered species and getting them back in the ocean!
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