Return to the Ocean of 8 sea turtles

In the middle of the morning of 23 June 2020, 8 sea turtles returned to their natural environment from the beach of Conche des Baleines on the Ile de Ré (17).

As part of the activities of the Aquarium La Rochelle, the Centre d’Etudes et de Soins pour les Tortues Marines (C.E.S.T.M.) has welcomed 8 marine turtles since 8 June 2019. After many months of care and convalescence, 7 loggerhead turtles and 1 Kemp’s ridley turtle have benefited from the return of fine weather to return to the ocean.

The Aquarium’s teams and their scientific partners thus witnessed the flight of Ki, Kirikou, Kemen, Kercambre, Kiribati, Kawaii, Kawan and Kempi.

A fresh start

Once placed on the sand, Kawaii, the first turtle, enjoyed the beach of Ré Island for several minutes before returning to her natural element. The following individuals took to the sea under the benevolent gaze of Florence dell’Amico, head of the C.E.S.T.M. at the La Rochelle Aquarium.

As for Kemen and Kercambre, the two largest loggerhead turtles, they were escorted to the water’s edge by the Aquarium’s biologists.


(c) Océane Cottier / Aquarium La Rochelle SAS

On the tracks of 3 loggerhead turtles

Kemen, Kercambre and Kawaii are equipped with a satellite transmitter that will allow us to follow their route. Because of their small size, the other 5 sea turtles are not tagged with this device.

Since 2008, the CESTM has carried out 25 satellite tracking surveys. This programme is carried out in partnership with the CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales). It enables the movements of turtles to be monitored in near-real time and the factors that influence their movements offshore to be identified (temperature, surface currents, etc.). These data contribute to improving global knowledge of the behaviour of these endangered species.


(c) Océane Cottier / Aquarium La Rochelle SAS
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