Bahamas Expedition: Making friends in the Bahamas

Chris, a regular staff diver in the Giant Ocean Tank, is on an Aquarium expedition to the Bahamas. Stay tuned for stories from the turquoise blue waters of Caribbean, complete with pictures, conservation notes and a taste of life on board a working boat.

We made a friend today. A juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) joined us on a couple of our dives this morning. A friendly little guy he was, and he even seemed to want to board our boat after we were out of the water.

Our new friend in the Bahamas

Eventually he swam off, but I was able to get a few good pics. We dubbed him "Mini-Myrtle." He was a much smaller and slimmer version of our famous Giant Ocean Tank resident in Boston.

Myrtle, undeniably large and in charge of the GOT in Boston

You can find green sea turtles all over the world, including New England during the warmer months. Our blog followers might recall that the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue team sometimes cares for green sea turtles that strand on Cape Cod beaches in the fall.

Green sea turtles are endangered. That's why it was so special to see one of these beautiful reptiles in the wild, and so important to rehabilitate the cold-stunned juveniles that wash up on the Cape. The species' numbers dipped over the past couple generations due to over-harvesting of eggs and egg-laying females on nesting beaches. To some extent, the destruction of nesting habitat and bycatch in the fishing industry is also to blame. The green sea turtle is a protected species in the Bahamas, so we simply kept our distance (as best we could, he was a curious fella!) and enjoyed its company.

1 comment:

  1. Great shot! What a special experience!
    Thanks for sharing.


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