National Taiwan Ocean University’s (NTOU) sea turtle rescue team rescued a juvenile hawksbill sea turtle that was beached off Yilan County’s Nanfangao last December. The team named the hawksbill Youyusi as one of the members had been eating the snack “youyusi” (dried shredded squid) during the rescue. Unfortunately, the hawksbill, having been released in late March, was later found dead, possibly from suffocation, in a Philippine fisherman’s squid cage.
When it was found on Dec. 4 last year, the hawksbill was very weak. According to the veterinary diagnosis given at the time, it is thought to have swallowed man-made objects such as fishing lines, rayon and marine litter, causing indigestion and infection, with complications including hypotension and sepsis. Under the care of the rescue team, the hawksbill recovered over time, before being released again in late March.
Before being released, the hawksbill had a satellite transmitter attached on its back by NTOU marine biology professor Cheng I-jiunn to track its migration route. Over the next few months, the hawksbill traveled from Yilan County’s Waiao beach to waters near Japan’s Ishigaki Island, before turning southward through the west Pacific Ocean to offshore waters between Barcelona and Isla han Samar in the southern Luzon Island of the Philippines. The hawksbill had traveled a total of 3,753km. Satellite trajectory data analysis indicates that the areas visited during this time could be its foraging habitat.
Photo: Screen grab from YouTube
However, sad news came on June 27. A fisherman in the town of Cauayan in Negros Occidental, Philippines found a dead hawksbill, weighing about 15kg and measuring 83cm long and 47cm wide and with trackers, a contact phone number and e-mail address on its back, in his squid cage on June 26. Local environmental agency officials speculated that the hawksbill might have become trapped inside the squid cage and suffocated, because turtles must surface every four-to-five minutes to breathe.
National Geographic confirmed in a report on its Facebook page on June 27 that the dead hawksbill was Youyusi. According to its Facebook page, despite the the sad end, the case is an excellent example of international turtle conservation through the media and the Internet.
(Liberty Times, translated by Lin Lee-kai)
Photo: Screen grab from YouTube
1. sea turtle phr.
2. hawksbill n.
3. dried shredded squid phr.
(you2 yu2 si1)
4. transmitter n.
(fa1 bao4 qi4)
5. foraging habitat phr.
(mi4 shi2 qi1 di4)
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