Phuket marine centre works to heal injured sea turtle

Sea turtle washed up on Kata Beach is now recovering, photo by The Phuket Express.

A marine centre in Phuket is working to nurse an injured sea turtle back to health. The turtle was spotted washed up by strong waves on the sands of Kata Beach earlier this week. The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources arrived on the scene after a hotel staff alerted them of the struggling little snapper.

The DMCR found the turtle’s flippers injured from the turtle getting tangled up in broken fishing nets. They also noticed the turtle was dry. The DMCR officials said the turtle was still young, and they could not identify its gender. The turtle was 44 centimetres long, 46 centimetres wide and weighed 6.7 kilograms. It is said to be an Olive Ridley turtle, a species of sea turtles mostly found in tropical waters.

The DCMR officials have now brought the turtle to an animal rescue centre in the Phuket Marine Biological Center, located in Phuket’s main city district. The officials expect the young snapper to make a full recovery.

Discarded fishing nets pose a danger to several marine animals in Phuket, and other areas of Thailand. In April, a dolphin got stranded on Phuket’s Nai Yang beach with 3 key injuries, one on its tail, one on its side, and one near its mouth. The vet and the national park head who inspected the dolphin both suspected it was likely wounded by a discarded fishing net.

Meanwhile, Thai officials are also worried about the low number of Irrawaddy dolphins in Songkhla Lake, and the Mekong River. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said that dolphins often die when they get caught in fishing nets. He said in 2014, there was a campaign to offer buy the nets from the fishermen, using funds from different organisations. He said the campaign appeared to work for some time, as fewer dolphins were found caught in nets. But in recent years, the campaign seems to have stopped being affective.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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