Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release Studies

Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Ocean Return of Marine Turtles in the Hawaiian Islands graph
Click on diagram above to enlarge.

Since 1990, an integral component of the Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program has been rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing stranded turtles throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Research collaborations with the State of the Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, Counties of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii, Federal and Defense Department Agencies, JIMAR, Marine Option Program of the University of Hawaii, including Maui Community College, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, conservation organizations, and private businesses, residents, and tourists of the Hawaiian Islands have made a significant contribution in the rescue and release of 867 turtles. The most common cause of stranding is fibropapillomatosis (27%). Other causes include fishing line entanglement, net entanglement, shark attack, injuries received from boat impact, and buoyancy. Based on yearly totals, the largest number of turtles released was 87 in 2011, but this was due in part to the March 2011 tsunami that caused an unusual number of turtles to strand.