In Tarama, 30 green sea turtles hatch and make their way to the sea

In Tarama, 30 green sea turtles hatch and make their way to the sea

A baby green sea turtle crawling out of the sand towards the ocean, on July 25, Tarama Village

August 15, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo
By Megumi Kiyomura

(Tarama) On July 25, around 30 green sea turtles hatched on the beach on the northern side of Tarama Village, Okinawa. The turtles were discovered by 7th grader Kazuki Kiyomura, age 13, of Tarama. The turtles determinedly making their way from the beach to the sea swam off into the great wide ocean one by one, helped along by the waves.

According to Takahide Sasai of the Okinawa Churaumi Foundation Research Center’s animal research room, the turtles are green sea turtles, which live in coastal areas in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. They are designated as endangered on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

More green sea turtles have been sighted on the coast of Tarama Village this year than last year. “The number of green sea turtle eggs laid and number of green sea turtles around the Yaeyama Islands and Okinawa Island are trending upward. There is likely a good chance that green sea turtles in the sea around Tarama Island are increasing as well,” said Sasai.

“I want people to be proud that we have excellent beaches where green sea turtles come to lay eggs. Green sea turtles sometimes feed in shallow waters where they can be seen by snorkelers,” said Sasai, and urged people, “if you see them, please watch over them kindly and do not touch them.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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