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Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre in May 2015?

Our volunteer at the Rescue Centre Joanne Stournara updates us on the events from 1 - 31 May 2015.

Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre in May 2015?

Number of turtles currently being treated: 25

Releases

Turtle releases have begun! So far, two turtles have been released, with several more scheduled to leave over the coming weeks. Releasing a turtle back into the sea is always a happy event for everyone who has been involved with her care, although it can be a bit sad because of worries about the turtleʼs future.
Watch Pavʼs video called RC Life - Day 32 of ʽAchilliaʼsʼ release. ʽChristianaʼsʼ release video will be available in July.

The first turtle release this year took place on 19 May from the beach at Thymari, Attica. The turtle was
ʽAchilliaʼ, who had arrived on 19 Oct 2014 from Corfu with a relatively shallow head injury.

Later that same week, on 22 May, ʽChristianaʼ, a turtle who came to the RC on 8 January 2015 from Corfu, was also released from Thymari beach. ʽChristianaʼ had no visible injuries and was possibly suffering from hypothermia.

Arrivals

Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre in May 2015?ʽValentinaʼ, a Cc whose carapace measures 62.5 cm and who weighs 27 kilos, came to the RC on 3 May from Ikara. She had a missing flipper because of an entanglement with a fishing line. The turtle was rescued in collaboration with another organization, Archipelago. She is recovering well and eating and diving.

ʽOliviaʼ, a Cc whose carapace measures 58.5 cm and who weighs 18 kilos, came to the RC on 29 May from Thessaloniki. She has a head injury and flipper injuries. The shape of the injury on her head exactly matches a tool commonly found on fishing boats. It is likely she was caught in a fishing net, hit on the head by someone, and then left in the sea. She was sent to us by Stelios, a member of the National Rescue Network. She had not ingested any hooks, so time will tell whether she will recover.

Deaths

Our first turtle from Kyparissia arrived at the end of May. She was emaciated, weighing only about 20 kilos. It seemed obvious that she had ingested a fishing line, part of which could be seen protruding from the cloaca. She died the day after her arrival. A necropsy will be conducted next month.
In addition, several stranded turtles were recently reported close to the RC at the Agios Kosmas and Voula beaches. (See the separate article on the website about the Agios Kosmas turtle.)

Other news

Joanne, whatʼs new at the Rescue Centre in May 2015?The RC is a popular field trip destination for local schools, and this month has been an exceptionally busy one. ARCHELONʼs educational program is approved by the Hellenic Ministry of Education. In addition to the routine class trips, a group of students from the American Community Schools of Athens and the Hellenic-American Educational Foundation-Latseio Elementary School collaborated on a Volunteers in Action project where students gained hands-on experience with care and treatment of injured sea turtles. In addition, participants were encouraged to raise public awareness in their communities about the work of ARCHELON and the plight of the sea turtles.

Did you know?

Plastics can be deadly for people as well as sea life. Plastics have become an integral part of our daily lives in many obvious (e.g. plastic bottles) and not so obvious ways (micro-beads in whitening toothpastes and facial scrub products), but what happens to these items when weʼve finished with them?

By now the deadly effects on various forms of plastic on the sea and sea life are known to most people [for example, see http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-21236477 for a very informative –and if I may say so, shocking– article and video; to see what happens to a plastic bottle once itʼs thrown away, see https://www.facebook.com/DavidAvocadoWolfe/videos/10152710956431512/?fref=nf]. However, only recently have scientists found proof that tiny, microscopic particles of plastic have entered the food chain and are now commonly found in the bloodstreams of human beings as a result of having consumed food or water contaminated by these particles! There are many articles and videos on these microplastics – just google microplastic pollution and you can take your pick!

Learn about the four Rs of sustainable living at http://www.tedxgreatpacificgarbagepatch.com/refuse-campaign/ and click on the link there to Take the Pledge!

Joanne Stournara

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