More than 30 turtles hooked by fishing lines in Virginia Beach in May
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTKR)- The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team says they have received 34 reports of hooked turtles and brought in 29 of them for rehabilitation.
When the turtles are reported, the response team takes them in and releases the hooks in their systems or lines tangling their flippers.
The following tips are listed on the city's website:
- Avoid casting your line if you see a turtle in the area.
- If you catch a sea turtle while fishing in Virginia, immediately call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program at 757-385-7575.
- While you wait for the response team:Never lift a turtle by the hook or by pulling on the line.
- Use a net to bring a turtle onto a pier or boat. If the turtle is too large to net or lift, try to walk it to shore. When you have control of the sea turtle, use blunt scissors or a knife to cut the line, leaving at least two feet of line to aid the responders in de-hooking.
- Leave the hook in place. Trying to remove it could cause more harm.
- Take a cell phone picture of the turtle and be ready to send it to responders when you call.
- Keep the turtle out of direct sunlight, and cover the shell with a damp towel until responders arrive.
- For your safety, keep hands away from the turtle's mouth and flippers. Sea turtles are very strong.