Turtle Story

This happened a while back but these type of studies are still ongoing in the Sea:

To spice things up a bit we hung out with some marine biologists from the local university while in a beautiful anchorage of Isla Partida about 20 miles north of La Paz.

The research team was there netting adult sea turtles for their continuing study of the creatures’ well-being. With the help of the National Parks Service, they set out shallow nets late in the day and left them overnight for turtle retrieval in the early morning. The nets are designed to capture the turtles but allow them to come to the surface to breathe until they are collected.

Once hauled from the water, the turtles were transported in a panga (the ubiquitous Mexican all-purpose motor vessel) to shore, where the team took them one by one up to a sheltered table on the beach where they checked their health, measured and weighed them, checked/applied an identification tag, and then released them back in to the sea. (They are air breathers so a bit of shore time does not harm them.)

The biggest one studied this time was 70 kilos, but in the recent past they netted one in this same bay weighing about 100 kilos. We first saw a “show” just like this when we came to Mexico in 2010.

In this anchorage we typically see several sightings of turtles a day swimming around our boat. The university folks estimated that there are a good 40 or so of them milling around us in this bay at any time.