An injured Turtle found near Fethiye last week was taken to the rehabilitation centre located on Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan. But what does the centre do and how is it supported.
An injured loggerhead turtle, known as Caretta Caretta in Turkey, was rescued last week near Fethiye.
The animal was found in the sea by fishermen.
It was trailing fishing line from its mouth and, when they eventually netted the turtle, they could see hooks attached to the line embedded in its mouth and throat.
The turtle was brought ashore in Fethiye and a vehicle soon arrived from the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in Dalyan, where the turtle was operated on and all hooks and line removed.
It is now recovering at the Centre prior to being released back into the sea.
The Turtle research, rescue and rehabilitation centre on Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan (DEKAMER) opened in June 2008.
The project is staffed by a team of specialists from Pammukale University, Denizli led by Doctor Yakup Kaska with support from a number of national and local bodies.
The centre is very basic consisting of a few portable buildings and a covered area under which large circular tanks are situated to hold the rescued turtles.
Despite this the team are having a high success rate in treating injured turtles.
Yakup told us in an earlier interview that since they opened they have helped many turtles recover from various injuries.
At the time we visted there were six turtles in care with various injuries.
One turtle had a large hole in its shell exposing its flesh and spine. It is thought this turtle had been injured when it was run over by a boat with the propeller cutting deep into the very hard shell.
Another turtle the team named ‘Lucky’ was missing its front flippers believed to have been caused when the turtle got caught in fishing line.
Another had been rescued with fishing line hanging out of its mouth similar to the one rescued last week. When the team checked the turtle a very large fishing hook was found lodged in its throat that was later removed by surgery.
“Ingestion of fishing hooks is a common occurrence. The turtles graze on seaweeds on the sea bed and sometimes fishing hooks and lines that have been lost become ingested.
If the turtles are not found then there is a high chance they will die either from their injuries or from starvation as they can’t eat.”
He then showed us four jam jars containing fishing line and hooks that had been removed from turtles brought to the centre.
He also said:
“Another common risk for turtles are plastic bags discarded or blown into the sea.
The turtle’s mistake them for jelly fish, one of its staple foods, and once ingested can suffocate the creature.”
If you would like to see the work being carried out by the team then you can call into the centre on Iztuzu Beach near Dalyan.