Hooked sea turtles heading back to the Gulf

September 7, 2014 by Janet Mcconnaughey
In this July 6, 2012 photograph released by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies for editorial purposes, a satellite tagged Kemp's ridley sea turtle named Hugo is released, near Gulfport, Miss., into the Gulf of Mexico for the purpose of having its migration through the gulf tracked. (AP Photo/Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)

Ten young sea turtles are headed back into the Gulf of Mexico. All were nursed back to health after swallowing anglers' hooks.

The animals released Saturday are among 213 endangered Kemp's-ridley turtles brought this year to the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport after taking fish bait along Mississippi's coast.

Director Moby Solangi says nearly all turtles that swallow can be saved with treatment.

Federal marine biologist Melissa Cook says reports of hooked turtles are rising. She says actual numbers are likely up, but many that might once have been just let go are probably now being reported and brought for help.

Solangi says more turtles may be seeking food close to shore because their typical diet—oysters and crabs—have declined in numbers.

In this July 25, 2010 photograph released by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies for editorial purposes, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle swims at the Center for Marine Education and Research in Gulfport, Miss., during its rehabilitation at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. This sea turtle was known as L-0039. (AP Photo/Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)
This Sept. 1, 2013 x-ray image released by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies for editorial purposes shows three fish hooks in a Kemp's ridley sea turtle called LT13-195. This sea turtle was rehabbed at the Center for marine Education and Research and later released in the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Institute for Marine Mammal Studies)

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