Responsible Pier Initiative to help rescue sea turtle

photo credit: jurvetson

photo credit: jurvetson

Fishing piers from all over the nation have joined the Responsible Pier Initiative which is aimed at saving marine critters that anglers hook on their lines.

This young green sea turtle, named Rory has successfully been delivered to sea and now it is making its way back to the Gulf of Mexico.

The critter was released at the National Seashore’s Fort Rockfort area Tuesday. The green sea turtle would not have survived, however, if it not for the new program which is designed to train fishermen and fishing pier managers in rescuing marine life that has been hooked or entangled in fishing line.

The Responsible Pier Initiative comes from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center who has taught the staff at Navarre Beach Fishing Pier techniques on how to rescue sea critters as well as what tools to use. The Center, based in Juno FL, provides free training, large fishing nets for rescue purposes and information on how to save sea turtles and other marine animals without further harm.

Helen Bishop, the store manager describes how she got word that the turtle was hooked from one of the fishermen. She then promptly took a net and went down the pier. With the help of the fishermen, they were able to safely pull the turtle into the net.

Rory was hoisted up and the line removed from its flippers. Helen and the rest of the team placed the turtle into a container, but not before wrapping the turtle in a towel soaked with sea water, in order to help stabilize the turtle’s condition.

If you are a fisherman and have accidentally caught a sea turtle or other marine animal, you should contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for prompt assistance. The officers will instruct you on how to best secure the animal until they arrive to pick it up and deliver it to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach where it will receive proper treatment and supervision.

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