Five juvenile green sea turtles were released into the ocean along the shore fronting the Grand Wailea on Aug. 23.
Maui Ocean Center employees, who had spent two years feeding, cleaning and caring for the honu, were joined by staff from the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and the Grand Wailea to witness the turtles' introduction into the open ocean.
"Maui Ocean Center has been a part of Sea Life Park Hawaii's Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Educational Loan Program since we opened in 1998," said John Gorman, head curator at Maui Ocean Center. "Through this extraordinary program we have released 42 turtles over the past 14 years."
Maui Ocean Center’s head curator John Gorman holds a green sea turtle named Lalama during a ceremony to release five turtles into the ocean fronting the Grand Wailea on Aug. 23.
ZANE MATHIAS photo
The turtles are marked in white with "MOC" and the numbers 1 through 5 on their shells. Maui residents and visitors are urged to keep an eye out for these turtles. To help with tracking the turtles, anyone who encounters one is asked to note the day, time and location, then contact Maui Ocean Center at 270-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.