SARASOTA – Murph, a loggerhead sea turtle rescued by Mote's Stranding Investigations Program on Memorial Day, was released off Lido Beach Monday.
The nearly 300-pound loggerhead had received treatment in Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital after getting entangled in fishing gear. Before his release, the turtle was outfitted with a special satellite tag which will allow Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program to follow his travels at sea and learn more about diving behavior.
The satellite transmitter will provide valuable insight on male turtle behavior in the wild. Mote believes Murph to be the first male loggerhead on Florida’s west coast tagged with a transmitter. The device will provide information about temperature and depth, in addition to location.
By learning about the turtle's diving behavior, Mote Marine Laboratory scientists can get a better picture of behavior in the wild — which is especially opportune in this instance because Murph is a male turtle. Unlike female turtles, which come ashore to nest, male turtles spend their entire lives at sea, making it very difficult to find and tag them in the wild.
|photos by Kacey Luensman/Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
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