The other day, as our dive dhoni was about to leave Gili Lankanfushi, our boat crew spotted a small turtle floating on the surface in the lagoon. They called the marine biologist and soon found out that this was a juvenile hawksbill sea turtle. Just 40 cm in carapace length (CCL) it was positively buoyant and could not dive down. It had possibly been floating like that for a while because it had a lot of algae growing on its shell. We named it after one of our Diving Instructors Nao i.e. Nao-turtle. We then managed to organize a speedboat to take the poor turtle to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa where a whole team of Marine Biologists take care of injured turtles like this one.
The reason why turtles sometimes float like this is because they often mistake plastic trash for food. A perfect illustration of this is in the image on the right (by MEDASSET).
Plastic debris is a huge problem in our oceans, and ‘5 gyres’ is an NGO that has some great ideas for stopping and fighting ocean debris, you can visit them atwww.5gyres.org. We will update you on how Nao-Turtle is doing as we receive information from Four Seasons Marine Discovery Centre.