SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – On September 28, the waves lapping up on Jungmun Beach of Jeju Island will welcome home 83 sea turtles, 80 of which have never been in the sea.
Besides the 80 that were born at Aqua Planet Yeosu (Yeosu Aquarium), the remaining three were discovered last December and treated until they were deemed healthy enough to return to sea. The loggerhead, green and hawksbill sea turtles were also kept at the Yeosu Aquarium.
There are seven species of sea turtles around the world. Six are classified as endangered or threatened.
Despite global conservation efforts, sea turtle populations are believed to be dwindling.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries classifies the loggerhead, green, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles as threatened. They are known to emerge in the waters surrounding the Korean peninsula.
The 80 sea turtles who will be making their first trip into the wild were born using artificial incubation, the first such case in South Korea. The artificial incubation technology is the result of three years of research conducted by Yeosu Aquarium.
Although 104 baby sea turtles were born, 80 with shells that were at least 13 cm long were selected for release.
As a former spawning grounds with ample food sources, Jungmun Beach is judged to be a good starting point for the sea turtles.
The three adult sea turtles will have tracking devices attached. The younger sea turtles have had devices inserted underneath their skin.