Lucky turtle hooked by longliner saved by Cocos rangers

Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas photo
As an illustration, the environmental group provided a
photo of an Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) being
released from a circle hook.

Rangers were able to free a hooked green sea turtle that happened to be one of 17 that carried sensing devices.

The Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas said that the incident happened Sept. 24 inside the zone around the Isla de Cocos where fishing is prohibited. The endangered green sea turtle had been snagged by a hook on a longline fishing rig, said the environmental organization. Rangers were able to free the turtle, although the creature was injured. Usually turtles hooked in this way drown.

The Programa is known as Pretoma, and it is working with a U.S. organization to protect turtles and hammerhead sharks around the island. Researchers had tagged the turtle’s external flipper and also attached satellite and acoustic devices during an earlier expedition to the island in April 2012. They arrived coincidentally at the island to continue the research the following day, the Programa said.

The hooked turtle was one of 17 tagged with a satellite transmitter to understand the movements of the species to determine if the marine protected area is large enough to keep the turtle safe during its long residency at Cocos Island, Pretoma said. The satellite tag sends daily signals into space, which are captured and sent to researchers computers.

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