On Wednesday, more than 150 admiring beachgoers said goodbye to "Little Crush" as it was returned to its salty underwater home. This rehabilitated green sea turtle washed ashore five months earlier, underweight and ill from ingesting more than 70 man-made items discarded in the oceans. After being treated by a team of Walt Disney World animal care specialists, it regained its health and was released into the ocean. Little Crush (so named for his resemblance to Disney's turtle character in Finding Nemo) was also equipped with a satellite transmitter enabling researchers to keep tabs on its ocean voyages. According to 11-year-old Alex Custer, the ceremony was "awesome."
Little did Alex and those other 150 beachgoers know that Little Crush is not heading into a ocean of possibilities, he's heading into a sea of danger. He'll have to run a gauntlet of commercial fishing gear and may -- if he's like many other sea turtles -- end up hooked on a longline or captured in a net. Alex and the beachgoers also mostly likely don't realize that our government ignores its own laws and officially sanctions and allows the catching (and killing) of thousands of endangered and threatened sea turtles by commercial fishing operations every year. Not quite the Disney ending we'd (all) hope for.
- Oceana Provides Comments to President Obama’s Task Force to Tackle Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud Posted Wed, September 10, 2014
- Six Sharks and Rays Gain International Protection under CITES Listing Posted Sun, September 14, 2014
- Infographic: BP to Blame for 2010 Deepwater Oil Disaster, Rules Judge Posted Tue, September 9, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Healthy Corals Mean More Sharks, Extinct Dolphin Found in Peruvian Desert, and More Posted Thu, September 11, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Sea Turtles Released after Swallowing Fish Hooks, UK Builds Massive Salt Marsh to Protect Coastline, and More Posted Mon, September 8, 2014