MAKAPUU (KHNL) - Hawaii's wild green sea turtle population got a little larger today. a group of them were released from captivity. Sea Life Park raised the turtles and hopes this release raises public awareness
After a hawaiian blessing, people at makapuu beach bid aloha to five young green sea turtles, or "honu". "This is a really special occasion because these are turtles we've had for over 2 and a half years here at the park and this is our turn now to return our friends back to the ocean," said Sea Life Park curator Jeff Pawloski.
Once a year, the turtles move onto the beach where they nest and lay eggs. two months later they hatch, and that's when sea life park steps in. "What we do is we collect these hatchlings when they're just a day old and we'll take them to our special area in the back of the park and we'll start raising them from day one," said Pawloski.
It's part of an effort to protect and educate people about the green sea turtle and the threats they face. most of the danger is from humans- fishing equipment and pollution are among the worst offenders. New laws and cooperation with fishing organizations have helped the honu population increase in Hawaii. At sea life park, hands-on eduaction is another important part in protecing the species.
"We have the opportunity to also tell the guests that it's our responsibility to respect these turtles because they co-inhabit the oceans with us and to allow them to come up peacefully on the beach without being disturbed," Pawloski added.