Sea Turtle Hatchling Release

The seas finally settled down this week, allowing us to head offshore and release (what should be) our final batch of sea turtle hatchlings for the season. We boarded Jupiter Dive Center’s Republic IV and headed out the Jupiter Inlet in search of the sargassum weed line.

Each year, the sea turtle hospital at LMC treats hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings that weren’t strong enough to make it offshore on their own. The life of a baby sea turtle is a challenging one. Upon hatching there are many obstacles and predators they must immediately overcome on the beach such as crabs, birds, and raccoons; along with man-made obstacles like holes or sand castles. Once they reach the ocean, sea turtle hatchlings begin a “swim frenzy,” of continuous non-stop swimming for up to 24 hours. The “swim frenzy” gets the hatchlings out of the dangerous nearshore waters and into the sargassum sea weed, where they will spend the first few years of their life.

It is believed that about 1 out of 5,000 sea turtles hatchlings will make it to adulthood. Our hope is that by releasing the turtles directly in the sargassum weed line we are able to increase these odds and help the survival of the species.

Thank you to Jupiter Dive for your ongoing help and support!

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