ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD)- Wednesday, two sea turtles returned home to the ocean on Isle of Palms. These are the first two sea turtles to be rehabilitated and released with the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery Center at the South Carolina Aquarium. The Manager of the Sea Turtle Care Center, Willow Melamet, says these two turtles had a faster recovery period thanks to the improved filtration system at the new facility. Both “Marlin” and “Chum” were treated for injuries from fishing lines.
Melamet says, “Chum actually swallowed a treble fishing hook. That has three prongs on it and that was stuck inside of his esophagus, so it required significant surgery to remove on admission. So he’s come a long way to heal up that whole incision site where that hook used to be, so it’s been pretty cool to see that transformation and see that healing process. Marlin came in with a smaller J hook. That was able to be easily removed on admission, but he was still debilitated, underweight, and needed a few months of recuperation before he was ready to go”.
I you are a fisher and want to make sure you don’t injure any sea turtles with your line, the aquarium recommends you use circle hooks and call DNR if you accidentally catch a sea turtle.
The South Carolina Aquarium says they are currently treating 18 sea turtles, and expect more will be ready for release in the next few weeks.