If you’ve liked our Facebook page, you might have noticed that we were lucky enough to have been able to provide a helping hand to around 100 green turtles that recently hatched close to Grand Sunset Gili Air.
While we were expecting their arrival, assisting the little ones onto their first venture into the Bali Sea was a mind-blowingly special experience.
Green turtles are common in these parts, and you’ll probably come across a few while diving or snorkelling on your next visit. Here are a few interesting facts about green turtles.
- The green sea turtle is listed as endangered, which makes it illegal to harm, kill or collect turtles. Habitat loss due to real estate development poses a big threat to their nesting areas on the beach, and pollution, as well as getting caught in fishing nets are additional dangers that these creatures face. Hunting, poaching and egg harvesting continue, despite regulations against these activities.
- The incubation temperature of their nests determines the sex of the turtles. Nesting sites with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius favour the development of female turtles, while temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius tend to lead to the development of males.
- Adult male turtles can be distinguished from female turtles by their longer tails and longer claws on the front flippers.
- Green turtles that reach maturity may live up to 80 years in the wild.
What to do when you encounter a sea turtle while snorkelling
Gili Shark Conservation recommends that you follow these guidelines when snorkelling with green turtles:
- Do not touch the turtle: Bacteria that can lead to serious illness can be transmitted from your hand to the turtle when you touch it.
- Keep your distance: Too many snorkelers can lead to turtles becoming distressed and avoiding going up for air, which leads to drowning. A distance of 2 metres should be kept at all times.
- Keep the beach clean: Beaches are nesting areas for turtles, and trash is a significant threat to their survival. Picking up trash – even if it’s not your own – after your beach visit does a lot to keep the beaches clean and safe for green turtles. The next time you are on the beach, take three for the sea.