Federal biologists released three dozen loggerhead sea turtles into the Indian River Lagoon in Sebastian Inlet near Melbourne, Florida. Used in research trials in Panama City, the loggerhead turtles were used by biologists to design better fishing and shrimping nets which will help turtles escape more easily. Many fishing nets currently used today cause the turtles to drown, one of the main causes of sea turtles deaths.
Of course, its no surprise that biologists chose the Space Coast. From Late May to early August, our coast is one of the most fertile grounds for loggerhead sea turtles. Last year alone, biologists documented almost 20,000 sea turtle nests.
According to Florida Today, juvenile loggerhead turtles were to be released on Monday as well by the U.S. Coast Guard, but the release was delayed for the other 132 turtles because of Tropical Storm Debby.
Gathered as hatchlings, the 3-year-old turtles were raised in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s research laboratory in Galveston, Texas, before they were taken to Panama City for research.
Interested in learning more about sea turtles or maybe even take a guided sea turtle hike? Here’s a list of organizations who host nighttime sea turtle hikes: