Weather
Mixed Weather
High: 20° Low: 16°
Breaking News

The President of the Republic of Albania and the Albanian royal couple have paid an official visit to the Principality of Monaco, on the invitation of HSH Prince Albert II

Monaco’s turtle rehabilitation is making waves

Monaco’s turtle rehabilitation is making waves

By Cassandra Tanti - June 13, 2019

Turtle preservation in the Mediterranean is getting a major boost thanks to a new research facility at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. The addition of a turtle tank overlooking the sea is an opportunity for the public to meet real sea turtles, while serving as a rehabilitation centre before the marine animals are released back into the wild.

The new Turtle Tank is situated outside overlooking the Mediterranean © M. Dagnino – Institut océanographique

Sammy and Avril are two turtles living at the rehabilitation tank at the Oceanographic Museum. Born in captivity, they cannot be released into the wild so they were moved to their new home in Monaco in May. The two eight-year-old loggerhead sea turtles are part of a larger effort to rescue and rehabilitate injured turtles found in the area.

The tank, sitting outdoors on a terrace overlooking the sea, holds a variety of local fish and fauna, so injured turtles will feel at home as they recover. A locked door on the terrace leads to a section of the rehabilitation centre which is otherwise closed to the public. It is here where Olivier Brunel, the head of the Aquarium, oversees daily management of the institution. He explained how the centre, in coordination with other local turtle conservation organisations, works to ensure the health and safety of turtles in the seas surrounding Monaco.

© M. Dagnino – Institut océanographique

The Oceanographic museum has also taken the initiative to educate local people who are frequently at sea on how to spot an injured turtle.

“We don’t have boats, they are our eyes on the sea,” said Brunel. “If they see turtles who need to be rescued, they can call us. We have arranged training on how to observe and know if a turtle is hurt, or just healthy and resting.”

Whether they are recreational fishermen, rowers or sailors, all sea-loving residents of Monaco play an important part in this new branch of the institution. An important centre for research since the 19th century, the Monaco Oceanographic Museum has focused efforts on turtle conservation globally, and they are making waves in sea turtle research.

© M. Dagnino – Institut océanographique

Since March, the museum has hosted two training sessions to teach community members how to spot sea turtles and report back to the research and rehabilitation facility. If they are safe and happy, they should be accounted for and left alone. If they are injured, they should be brought into the centre in a safe way.

The first step is to see what kind of injuries the turtle has. Some receive injuries to their shell from boats, or they can become entangled in nets or ropes. A common culprit is plastics that turtles digest, then they and can no longer eat. A vet from the aquarium works with other professionals to solve the problems. For example, the turtles are given special food at the centre to facilitate good digestion and eliminate the plastic.

© M. Dagnino – Institut océanographique

“If everything is fine and the turtle is well again, it goes to the rehabilitation tank where we will evaluate if it is well enough to go back to sea,” explained Brunel. “We put a tag giving its GPS position on the shell, which allows us to follow the turtle for a few months, to see its behaviour. It helps with scientific research and gathering general information from sea turtles.”

The Monaco Oceanographic Museum is an important link in French coastal research. Thanks to its partnerships with local sea goers and other French marine institutions, scientists in Monaco will contribute valuable information about these difficult to understand wild animals.

The rehabilitation centre will also be at the forefront of new ocean research. For example, a giant clam rescue project aims to repopulate a species that is quickly disappearing from the Mediterranean. They are setting up traps to collect larvae from these clams over the summer, to be inspected in September.

shares
SHARE
Previous articleThe Monaco Masters Show
Next articleWin tickets to the ‘In your element’ wellness festival

daily

October 17, 2019 | Local News

Albanian President visits Monaco

Cassandra Tanti

The President of the Republic of Albania and the Albanian royal couple have paid an official one-day visit to the Principality of Monaco, on the invitation of HSH Prince Albert II. President Ilir Meta was welcomed to Monaco on Wednesday 16th October. It follows a visit by Prince Albert to Albania in October 2018, during […]

0
October 17, 2019 | Local News

Sportel Awards celebrate 30 years

Stephanie Horsman

Sportel, an organisation originally created to help bring together the worlds of media and sport, is celebrating its 30th year with four days of events at the Grimaldi Forum, some of which are open to the general public. The event will run from 20th October until 3rd October and will host top level executives in […]

0
Stephanie Horsman

Each year, The Prince Pierre Foundation and the Monaco Philosophical Meetings scour the globe looking for an author to honour for their philosophical work or works. The person must have at least one seminal work which has opened eyes in this field, and has explored different views on science, politics, history, anthropology, ethics or psychoanalysis. […]

0
Cassandra Tanti

Urban Painting Around the World (UPAW) saw its third edition in June and raised €25,000 from its art auctions. Last week, that money was officially donated to the Prince Albert II Foundation with the directive of contributing to a project that will protect chimpanzees in Uganda. The summer’s UPAW event on the Quay Albert 1er […]

0