Crabby, the endangered green sea turtle rescued from a crab trap in June, has been released back into the wild at Nelson Bay.
Crabby the turtle being released
Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park Scientific Officer, David Harasti, said the 60 centimetres long turtle was released into the waters of the Fly Point sanctuary zone at Nelson Bay.
Mr Harasti said a satellite tag was attached to the creatures back before it was released.
'The tag is part of the turtle monitoring project between Sydney Aquarium Conservation Fund and Marine Parks Authority (MPA) so its movements can be recorded for the next six months,' Mr Harasti said.
'Every time the turtle surfaces to breathe, the tag will send a signal to overhead satellites which will notify us of its location,' he said.
Crabby, is a sub adult female, and was found swimming in shallow water at Soldiers Point in Port Stephens in June.
It had a ‘witches hat’ crab trap on the front right flipper and nylon net and rope attached to the upper area of the flipper and covering its head.
The turtle was taken to the Taronga Wildlife Hospital where it was X-rayed and had blood taken. It was then treated with antibiotics and pain relief.
Crabby had initial problems using the injured flipper, but after three weeks, swimming in a 26c rehab pool to aid healing and dining on squid, pilchards, whitebait and greens, vets cleared it for release.
Mr Harasti said MPA staff picked the turtle up last Friday and transported the turtle up to Port Stephens for the release.
'This is the second satellite tagged turtle released by MPA, the first known as Tracey, was tagged and released in May this year,' Mr Harasti said.
'Tracey was released at Fly Point in Nelson Bay and still calls the area home, having stayed within two kilometres of the release spot.
'Tracey has become a local celebrity with divers and snorkelers as she can be regularly seen feeding on seagrass and sleeping in her cave at Fly Point.'
Mr Harasti said green sea turtles are a protected species in NSW and three species can be regularly found in the Port Stephens area (Loggerheads, Hawksbills and Greens) with Flatbacks and Leatherbacks occasionally being seen.