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HomeNewsRegional NewsAntigua & Barbuda: The saga of the seaweed and a hawksbill turtle

Antigua & Barbuda: The saga of the seaweed and a hawksbill turtle

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By Martha Watkins Gilkes

Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua Observer) – This is a feel good story of a marine mammal rescue. They say it takes a village – or in this case it took a number of volunteers who care about marine life.

Antigua, as well as most of the Caribbean, has suffered a serious influx of the dreadful sargassum seaweed which is sadly killing much marine life – dolphins, turtles, fish and many other sea creatures.

A critically endangered juvenile hawksbill turtle was caught in the seaweed on an east coast Antigua beach on March 5. She was not able to lift her head or even move a fin.

Luckily for her a good Samaritan came across her in the seaweed and called me to help. I called the Environmental Awareness Group’s (EAG) coordinator of the Antigua Marine Conservation Programme, Alex Fireman, and along with Sherrill Charles, Science Communications Officer, they came out to implement the rescue.

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‘Lucky Lady’ – as we named her – was taken to a temporary kiddie swimming pool to attempt rehabilitation.

Sea turtles are protected in Antigua and a special permit is needed to handle them. However, resources are very limited, so the team reached out to other overseas experts including the Sea Turtle Hospital in Florida for additional help. There is an amazing programme called Turtles Fly Too that could have possibly done an airlift.

Read more.

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