UPDATE: Another turtle was rescued at Kamala Beach at 3:30pm today (June 9)
Officers at Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) were called to Leypang Beach at 8:45am after staff at the nearby Dusit Thani Hotel reported that they had found a young turtle caught in a fishing net.
The hotel staff carefully cut away the tangled fishing net and placed the turtle in an open container with water to keep the turtle wet until the marine biologists from the PMBC arrived.
The turtle, weighing 7.4kg with a shell measuring about 41cm across, was estimated to be five to seven years old.
PMBC staff reported that the turtle had minor wounds on its front and back flippers from the fishing net, but otherwise was still in good health. “It is quite strong and can still swim, and needs no support to breath properly,” one staffer said.
The turtle was taken back to the PMBC, located at Cape Panwa on Phuket’s east coast, where marine biologists can keep on eye on the turtle’s recovery.
However, the PMBC received another call just hours later reporting that another turtle had been safely recovered from being tangled up in a broken fishing net at Kata Beach on Phuket’s southwest coast.
Local residents, including local fishermen, brought the turtle ashore and safely removed the tangled net from the turtle’s flippers.
The turtle was estimated to be just two to five years old. It weighed 2.6kg and its shell measured 30cm long and 28.5cm wide.
The turtle was also reported to be generally in good health with only minor wounds on its front flippers from the fishing net.
However it had also suffered serious lacerations on its rear flippers, with its rear-right flipper twisted and swollen.
Staff at the PMBC reported they are have treated the wounds but are keeping a close eye on the turtle in case it develops a serious infection.
Officials at the Phuket Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center (Andaman Sea Division) noted that strong waves durting the current gloomy weather this weekend likely brke fishermen’s nets from where they were placed, leaving them to float free and snaring the baby turtles in the tangled webbing.
Of note, local fishermen were among the people providing assistance for the turtle when officials arrived at Kata Beach.