Despite Red Tide making its way to the east coast, the effects of it were not enough to harm the sea turtles in our area. In fact, boating still appears to be the largest cause of death for our marine life.
Red Tide had little to no impact on the turtles because it developed so late in the nesting season in our area. A lot of the adult sea turtles were already gone so it did not impact nesting population. Female turtles also typically fast during nesting season which lowered their chances of being exposed to it.
Sea turtles effected by red tide will show symptoms that impact the brain including swimming in circles and bobbing heads. They can be exposed by eating red tide-tainted food or by breathing in toxins.
As boating related injuries remain to be the number one cause of death for our sea turtles, the Loggerhead Marine Life Center is once again sharing these guidelines for keeping our waters safe:
- Contact local responders if you spot an injured sea turtle.
- Place engines in neutral is sea turtles are nearby.
- Check surroundings before starting motor.
- Remain 45 meters away from marine life while boating
- Remain 5 meters away from marine life while snorkeling or diving. Do not follow animals.
- Take only photos, leave only bubbles. Do not take anything from the waters and do not leave trash or other debris.
- Abide by speed limit
- Limit observing animals to only 30 minutes.
- Do not block a sea turtle's direct path to the surface or back out to sea.
- Do not encircle marine animals.
- Do not feed or touch any species.
Sources: Palm Beach Post/Loggerhead Marinelife Center