ATLANTA (SEPTEMBER 26, 2016) – Gliding through the Ocean Voyager Built by Home Depot exhibit is Tank, Georgia Aquarium’s resident green sea turtle. Last September, Tank arrived from Georgia Aquarium’s partner facility, Marineland Dolphin Adventure in Marineland, Fla. Tank was rescued over 20 years ago following an injury and rehabilitated after being deemed non-releasable.
A year after his arrival, Tank is doing great and swims with the whale sharks, manta rays and thousands of other fish in Ocean Voyager! With over 2.2 million guests coming through the Aquarium’s doors in the last year, Tank serves as an important ambassador for all turtle species.
All sea turtles found in the U.S. are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Six species of sea turtle can be found in the U.S.: green turtles, hawksbill turtles, leatherback turtles, loggerhead turtles, olive ridley turtles, and the smallest species, Kemp’s ridley turtles. Turtles face major threats in the U.S. including destruction of their nesting and habitat grounds, boat strikes, accidental capture in fishing gear and entanglement in marine debris.
Fortunately, this past year was a record-breaking year for loggerhead sea turtles in the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Loggerhead nesting season runs from May through August, and early numbers indicate that Georgia’s nesting grounds have seen an almost 40 percent increase in nests, tallying to roughly 3,250 nests, while the Carolinas each have seen an increase of almost 20 percent!
This new success could be due in part to the public becoming more aware of the dangers sea turtles face and active conservation efforts they help protect them.
Turtles like Tank play a vital role in helping the public understand the dangers they face and how to protect these awesome creatures for future generations.
For photos and underwater video of Tank, please click here.
ABOUT GREEN SEA TURTLES
Adult green sea turtles can weigh in excess of 400 pounds and are herbivores, making them unique among sea turtles. This diet of only sea plants and algae is thought to give them their greenish color. They live near coastlines, around islands and bays in tropical and subtropical waters; particularly in areas with seagrass beds. They are currently listed as Endangered on the U.S. Endangered Species Act and on the International Union for Conservation of Nature List. They are under threat due to the over harvesting of their eggs and adult turtles and incidental capture in fishing gear.
ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals in North America. Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to be a scientific institution that entertains and educates, features exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offers engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.