New England Aquarium Rehabilitating Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles In Quincy

Photo: New England Aquarium

QUINCY (WBZNewsRadio) - Roughly 50 sea turtles remain in the care of the New England Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy as the sea turtle stranding season comes to an end.

The cold-stunned turtles are now being rehabilitated so they can be released back into the ocean this spring. It isn't just the cold-stunning that these turtles are dealing with, some of them are suffering from pneumonia, bone fractures and sepsis.

“This is always an exciting time for us, focusing our efforts on turtles that will complete their full rehabilitation process here in Quincy. This is when we really get to know and understand the various medical conditions of the individual turtles receiving care at our Sea Turtle Hospital, a process that can take several months before these turtles can be released back into their ocean home,” Adam Kennedy, Director of Rescue and Rehabilitation, said in a press release.

Aquarium staff, volunteers and interns took part in the annual tradition of naming the turtles who will be staying long term, receiving months-long care. This year's theme was pasta shapes. Turtles got names like Fusilli, Orzo, Lasagna, Udon, Couscous and Soba.

The sea turtle stranding season typically runs from November into January. This year the New England Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy has cared for more than 500 sea turtles that stranded on Cape Cod.

Officials with the NEA said it's because of the rapidly changing water temperature and wind pattern that trap and strand turtles in the "hook-like" are of Cape Cod Bay. Cold-stunned sea turtle strandings have been on the rise in Massachusetts since 2000. Researchers predict that by 2031, thousands of sea turtles will be stranded on our shores annually.

This year, they saw a record number of green sea turtles, which officials blame on hurricane activity in the Atlantic, drawing more of the turtles into the Gulf of Maine.

WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMackayOnAir) reports

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