On koh Pling Yai - West we found a large fishing net that reached for several meters.
Richard followed the net up and found the unfortunate hawksbill Turtle stuck in the net. Snippy joined Richard and together they tried to free it, which unfortunately was not succesfull
2 of Blue Guru’s instructors, Daniel & Richard, valiantly tried to free the turtle, which was completely entangled in the net. Sadly the turtle drowned & died before they could bring it to the surface to breathe. Its age was estimated as 15 years old.
After bringing it on the land it was examined by a local Turtle organisation that follows the egg
Turtles have lungs & breathe air. Normally Hawksbill turtles come up to breathe air about every 56 minutes; olive ridley turtles every 28-40 minutes; loggerhead turtles every 15-30 minutes; and green turtles every 9-23 minutes. A stressed turtle entangled in fishing kit uses up oxygen more rapidly and can drown within minutes. Getting entangled in a fishing net is therefore life-threatening for all species of turtles.
The 4 species of turtle above all nest on Koh Phra Thong’s beaches and are at particular threat from local longtail fishing boats & countless Thai & Burmese fishing vessels out every day & night in the North Andaman Sea.
Discarded fishing nets, string, plastic bags, polystyrene floats & glass bottles are thrown overboard from fishing boats on a daily basis and wash up on Koh Phra Thong’s shores. Sadly this debris can also wash onto our local reefs causing damage to coral reefs and even death of marine life, as this tragic event illustrates.
Blue Guru is monitoring the number of fishing boats seen on every dive & snorkel session conducted this season as part of our Ocean Action Project. We aim to build a persuasive argument for the implementation of conservation measures to keep the fishing boats & their nets away from local & offshore reefs.
Sadly any measures implemented will be too late to save this particular Hawksbill turtle. However, we hope his death will not be in vain and that it will be a shocking & compelling influence for positive conservation action to save other turtles, sharks & rays from the same fate.