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Satellite-Tagged Turtle in the BVI

Monday, October 5 –The Conservation and Fisheries Department continues to aid in the regional monitoring of turtles as part of its conservation efforts.

To this end, the department has cooperated with counterparts in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in monitoring Suzie the first anglophile green turtle to be satellite tagged and released from the East Caicos Island.

Suzie, the female green turtle spent a week in the Territory’s waters after spending two weeks migrating across the open ocean from East Caicos. Suzie is now in Anguilla which happens to be the third British Overseas Territory she has visited since the attachment of her satellite monitoring system.

Suzie entered the Territory between Tortola and Jost Van Dyke and headed to Brewer’s Bay.  From there she swam along the north shore of Tortola to Beef Island then across the channel to Ginger Island.  From Ginger Island she swam up the south-side of Virgin Gorda, made her way to Necker Island, then onwards to Anegada.  From Anegada she left the Territory and headed towards Anguilla.

Marine Biologist in the Conservation and Fisheries Department Ms. Shannon Gore pointed out how initiatives such as this illustrate turtle migration patterns and exemplifies how important it is to look at conservation efforts on a regional level.

“Turtles found in our waters could come from other Caribbean countries and as far as eastern Africa so it is important to realize that our actions impact not only local populations but regional ones as well.  Efforts such as this, aid our understanding of the distribution and abundance of turtles,” the Marine Biologist said.

Biologists in the Turks & Caicos Islands as well as at the Conservation and Fisheries Department are contemplating what Suzie’s intentions were since there were no signs of her nesting in the Turks & Caicos Islands or in the Territory.

“What she is doing is a complete mystery. We are all watching to see whether she lays in Anguilla, moves on to another country or returns to the Virgin Islands or the Turks & Caicos. As long as the transmitter remains attached, we will wait and see” added Ms. Gore.

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Suzie's tag only transmits when she surfaces to breathe at which time satellites orbiting in space receive the signals then calculates her location.  Suzie’s progress can be monitored online and the Conservation and Fisheries Department is encouraging persons to visit www.mcsuk.org where they can find maps, pictures and more information on Suzie and other turtles.

For Shannon Gore's July Yacht Guide article on turtle tracking, click here: http://www.bviguides.com/Domains/bviyachtguide/featured_article/editorial/marine_conservation.html

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