The Sodade Turtle Nursery and Recovery Center returned a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) to the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, after caring for it for three months.
In April, the turtle was found tangled in a series of fishing lines at Cofete beach in Spain’s Canary Island of Fuerteventura. That’s also the place where she was released on Friday afternoon.
“We’re releasing a turtle that we found on this beach in Cofete. She was entangled in fishing gear. It is one of the big problems we are finding in the sea today, there is a huge amount of marine waste,” said the turtle rescue center’s director Tony Gallardo.
He added that plastic waste is a massive threat to wild animals. The turtle was severely hurt and needed months to recover. “Today, she has returned to freedom with a tremendous desire to be at sea, free again”, Gallardo said the day of her release.
Loggerheads live in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Females have low reproductive rates. They’ll lay around four egg clutches every two to three years.
“It is important what has been done here in Cofete because it is also about increasing the reproductive area of the loggerhead turtle in this part of the Atlantic,” said sea biologist Maria Rodriguez. “It is a species that is very threatened, especially now with the issue of plastic waste.”