FOUR loggerhead sea turtles accidentally fished off the Valencia coast were returned to the sea in Albir.
Crowds gathered to watch as the four turtles, whose weights ranged from six to 18 kilos, went back to their natural habitat.
All needed care after they were entangled in trawler nets and taken to the Oceanografic aquarium in Valencia City for treatment. Two suffered a gas embolism owing to the stress of being trapped for more than an hour in the fishermen’s nets. One was suffering from pneumonia after inhaling water and another had the beginnings of pneumonia.
They remained at the Oceanografic for just over a month until they had recovered sufficiently to return to the sea. Unlike the past when boats routinely threw the turtles back into sea where the majority died, fishermen now collaborate by contacting the authorities who then take over once they return to shore.