2021 is so far the 4th highest turtle nesting season

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -This years turtle nesting season kicked off a bit earlier than usual. The first nest was detected on Earth Day, April 22. The typical season starts in may and ends on October 31st.

Stephannie Kettle, The Public Relations Manager at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, said, “Right now we have about 300 nest remaining on the beach still this year but we already know we are at out 4th highest season since we started monitoring roughly 40 years ago. We are at around 3700 logger head nest and 90 green sea turtle nest and 90 green sea turtle nest is actually our 2nd highest year for green sea turtles.”

This success comes after a devastating year for the ecosystem as the Suncoast has endure environmental disasters, Hurricane Elsa, and high levels of red tide all summer. However, Kettle explained that, sea turtles consume red tide toxins through their food. When females are near shore laying or nesting, they’re usually are not eating, so they’re probably are not ingesting toxins.” As far as the little ones, they tends to swim off shore right after they hatch and pass much of the red tide that is often along the shore. Therefore, there is not a large impact of red tide on hatchlings or mothers. Kettle goes on to explain, “Red tide does really affect our juveniles and our adult males.”

Adult males do not often come back to the shore after hatching, there are not supposed to. This was not the case for a recent rescue by Mote Marine. Bobby, a loggerhead sea turtle spent nearly 50 days at the lab before he was tagged with a satellite tracker and released back to the big blue.

In addition, Mote Marine also released 40 hatchlings over the past week after they also had to be rescued.

With 300 nest still out there it is important to not use white light along or on the beaches at night as this can lead to disorientation. If you do come across as sea turtle in distress contact Mote Marine’s Hotline at (888)-345-2335.

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