Trio of turtles released at Cannonvale Beach
A TRIO of green sea turtles were released at Cannonvale Beach last Saturday after spending several months in rehabilitation.
Juvenile turtle Ben and 80-year-old Samson were rescued by staff on Hamilton Island, while juvenile Jesse was found during an Eco Barge Clean Seas beach clean-up.
All three were suffering from floating syndrome - an inability to dive to reach their normal food source due to a gas accumulation in the gut and body cavity.
Samson had ingested fishing line and was treated for five months while Ben and Jesse had pneumonia and were treated for two.
Eco Barge Clean Seas founding chair Libby Edge said it was particularly important to get Samson, a breeding-age male turtle, back into the water.
"Because of climate change, eggs are coming out predominantly female," she said.
"One in every thousand turtles reach breeding age, so to have a breeding-age, male sea turtle out there is quite critical these days."
Eco Barge has 13 turtles in care and has released 10 this year.
Ms Edge said she was amazed as almost 300 people attended the release on Saturday, showing their support for Eco Barge Clean Seas.
She thanked major sponsors Cruise Whitsundays and Coca-Cola South Pacific, whose partnership was "vital to operations".
If anyone in the local community comes across sick or injured turtles, phone the RSPCA emergency hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).