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Two green turtles returned to sea (with photo)

     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) released two juvenile green turtles in the southeastern waters of Hong Kong today (September 21).

     The juvenile green turtles were found by members of the public at the Ma Wan Public Pier and Victoria Harbour in September 2013 and July this year. After an initial check-up by the AFCD, the turtles were taken to Ocean Park Hong Kong (OPHK) for a thorough veterinary assessment. Since then, they have been looked after at OPHK with constant monitoring and veterinary care.

     The two juvenile green turtles weighed 8.4 kilograms and 26kg and measured about 42 centimetres and 60cm in carapace length respectively. Both turtles were in good condition, indicating that they were ready to be returned to sea.

     The AFCD is thankful to the members of the public concerned for their prompt action, and to the veterinarians and aquarium staff of OPHK for their efforts in taking care of these two turtles.

     Before the turtles were released into the sea, the AFCD tagged each of them with a microchip and Inconel tags for future identification. Satellite transmitters were also attached to their carapaces. By tracking the oceanic movement and feeding grounds of green turtles, the AFCD can collect data for formulating appropriate conservation measures and share its findings with other conservation authorities for the better conservation of sea turtles.

     The green turtle is a globally endangered species. Members of the public are urged to report any sighting of sea turtles to the department via 1823 to help protect them. The AFCD will continue its efforts in sea turtle conservation through monitoring, habitat management and educational activities.

     In Hong Kong, all sea turtle species are protected under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170) and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Cap 586). Of the five sea turtle species found in Hong Kong waters, the green turtle is to date the only species known to nest locally.

Ends/Monday, September 21, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:48


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