Protect sea turtles during nesting season

Injured sea turtle at Gulf World Marine Institute getting rehabilitated before being released...
Injured sea turtle at Gulf World Marine Institute getting rehabilitated before being released back into the Gulf.(WJHG)
Published: Jul. 9, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, sea turtle nesting season begins in May and ends in October.

“If you see one on the beach at night, give her space,” Gulf World Marine Institute Stranding Coordinator Lauren Albrittain said.

Gulf World’s turtle rescue rehabilitates stranded, sick, or injured sea turtles.

“Any patient that comes in we do whatever we can to bring them back to full health and then release them back to the Gulf of Mexico,” Albrittain said.

Since sea turtles are protected by law, officials want people to make sure they are doing their part. Turtles sometimes get caught in nets or accidentally get a fishing hook in their mouth, and with nesting season here it’s important to be careful.

Officials encourage people to not use their flashlights if they spot a turtle nesting. These bright, white lights can interfere with the process. They also said keeping our beaches clean by not leaving trash behind, is another way people can do their part.

“That does end up out in the water, where they might get entangled in it or try to ingest it or eat it,” Albrittain said.

If you see a sick or injured marine mammal or sea turtle please immediately contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922 or #FWC/*FWC on your cell phone.

According to a local organization, Panama City Beach Turtle Watch there are currently 33 nests spotted so far.

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