Return to the Ocean

Within the framework of the activities of the Aquarium La Rochelle, the Centre d'Etudes et de Soins pour les Tortues Marines (C.E.S.T.M.) welcomes every year marine turtles stranded or captured accidentally. After long months of care and convalescence, the animals use the return of fine weather to go back to the ocean.

Return to the Ocean illustrated

Follow the course of a sea turtle, from observation to return to the ocean.

From 1988 to 2023

Return to the Ocean

Discover the number of individuals who have been able to return to their natural environment in 32 years of C.E.S.T.M. activities.

Loggerhead turtles
Kemp's Ridley Turtles
Green turtles
Total number of turtles
From 2008 to 2023

Satellite tracking

Green Turtle
Kemp's Ridley Turtles
Loggerhead turtles
Total number of trackings

Return to the Ocean 2024, never seen before!

Stranded between October 2023 and May 2024 on the French Atlantic and English Channel coasts, 64 loggerhead turtles and one green turtle returned to the ocean on 28 May after their stay at the CESTM at the La Rochelle Aquarium.

While 65 turtles have already returned to the ocean, more than 150 individuals, weighing a few hundred grams on average, have returned to the care centre in recent months.
A second release will take place in the coming weeks.


Satellite tracking

Since 2008, the CESTM has been conducting a satellite monitoring programme for some of the marine turtles it rehabilitates.

It makes it possible to follow in quasi real time the turtles handed over to the Ocean. Thus, their positions recorded during their journey, combined with the data of various oceanographic parameters, make it possible to highlight the factors which influence their journey offshore (temperature, surface currents…).

Of the 8 marine turtles that returned to their natural environment in 2020, three have been equipped with a satellite transmitter and one of them is still working. It allows to follow the route of Kemen.


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Missions of CESTM

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