On Dec 19, 2016 Jamani Balderamos was diving with Turneffe Flats at a dive site south of Crickozeen and observed an endangered hawksbill sea turtle less than 2 ft in length with flipper tag BZ1340 on the left front flipper .
The Belize Fisheries Department checked their sea turtle tag database and confirmed the tag was applied by MAR Alliance. Rachel Graham of Mar Alliance confirmed they tagged this turtle on April 19, 2015 on the west side of Turneffe Atoll. The turtle weighed roughly 25 pounds and was about 1.5 feet in length. The size of the turtle indicates it is a juvenile turtle.
Sea turtles are flipper tagged by researchers to monitor migration patterns. Almost two years later BZ1340 was found foraging in the same area. This recapture suggests that juvenile sea turtles forage in the same general area and do not migrate far from their preferred feeding grounds.
MAR Alliance is a member of the Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network and conducts Mega Fauna surveys throughout Belize. If you observe a sea turtle with tags do not attempt to capture the turtle. The public is reminded that all sea turtles are protected under the Laws of Belize.
Check back each week for new updates on our activities and reports shared by volunteers in the field!