One of the turtles trapped in the seaweed on Monday. (GP/Carla Daniel)
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THREE RESCUED TURTLES, three dead ones, six dead dolphins and countless dead juvenile fish and eels.
That was the tally from Monday’s invasion of the sargassum seaweed that kept officials from the Barbados Sea Turtle Project and the Barbados Marine Mammals Stranding Network busy along the East Coast well into yesterday afternoon.
However, that final tally was nowhere near as bad as that of 2015 when the island lost 42 turtles which had become trapped and died in the pelagic seaweed blanketing the waters and beach at Long Beach, Christ Church.
And today, the Barbados Sea Turtle Project’s director of public education and awareness, Carla Daniel, is thanking all those volunteers who responded to her pleas on the project’s Facebook page and started combing the beaches for other trapped marine life.
“When I was standing on the beach at Tent Bay and I saw the situation that the turtles were in and our not being able to do anything at the time, I posted on Facebook and it was just to ask people to be vigilant.
“And we really had a remarkable outpouring. Someone even messaged me today [yesterday] and asked if we had a plan for the day. So I really need to say thank you to those who offered support,” she said.
The first call came early Monday morning about a stranding at Crane Beach, St Philip.
“We immediately went down to Crane and when we got there, there was a huge mass of sargassum filling the bay and going around the corner to Beachy Head,” Daniel told Heather-Lynn’s Habitat.
What surprised her was that the turtle was an Olive Ridley, a very rare visitor to these shores. They are so rare, the last one was seen in 2009.
“This is only the second time we have seen an Olive Ridley,” Daniel revealed. “They don’t nest here and they are not common in our waters. The last time it had washed in, it was also stranded at the beach at the Crane Resort.” (HLE)
Read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION newspaper or read the e-paper online.