Turtle found dead off East Point
A TINY COVE in the shadow of the East Point lighthouse was the scene for a grisly discovery yesterday.
Floating in the water at Bakers Bay was the body of a dead leatherback turtle.
Lobstermen from the St Philip area made the discovery around 10 a.m. and called the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.
However, within a matter of hours, the relentlessly pounding waves had begun to break up the carcass, as Sea Turtle Project volunteers Carla Daniel and Robert Rogier, along with Mark Gittens, struggled to bring it ashore so it could be measured and its back flippers checked for tags.
It was not tagged.
“There is no way to measure it,” explained the project’s field director Dr Darren Browne of the moderately decomposed carcass, “but most likely it is a young adult female.”
Browne later explained, to some of the residents who were watching the activity, that while leatherbacks were the biggest sea turtles, the strongest swimmers and had the deepest diving range, they also had the softest shell of all the turtles.
As a result, fishing line easily sliced through their leather-like exterior.
However, he noted that since the men who had discovered it had said the turtle showed no signs of injury, he surmised it could have eaten a plastic bag, which it had mistaken for a jellyfish – a dietary staple. (HL-E)