THE ODYSSEY OF THE SEA TURTLES

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Accessible from the aquarium, this open-air amenity invites the visitor on a fabulous voyage. Drawn into the wake of these great migratory animals, the visitor becomes aware of their fragility and is invited to  pledge himself to their protection. An act of citizenship is proposed to young people too through educational activities.

From their life cycle to the dangers that threaten their existence, from the magic of their nesting habits to the actions being taken to preserve them, the great adventure of sea turtles is being told in the Oceanographic Museum, in a brand new 550 m² space.
 
This new space enhances dialogue with all members of the public (visitors, researchers, decision makers, educators) and opens a ground for discovery, sharing and commitment in favour of sea turtles.

A rescue center
The Monegasque Rescue Center for Marine Species (CMSEM) is the heart of our new action and awareness-raising package. Noble pen shells and seahorses are looked after there… but also sea turtles. Their most frequent injuries: being caught accidentally in fishing nets, fishhooks stuck in their throats, cracked shells or the ingestion of plastic. Our caregivers are used to handling protected species and work with specialist vets and French and European rescue center networks. It will be an opportunity to contribute to study programmes relative to the biology of these species, their
behaviour and their environment.

Where the “patients” come from
The CMSEM can take in specimens picked up directly in the sea, on the Monaco coast or in the vicinity. Turtles can also be entrusted to us by other rescue centers which are full when the animal needs care. The Oceanographic Institute collaborates notably with the French Mediterranean Sea Turtle Network (RTMMF, run by the Herpetological Society of France) and the Center for Research and Conservation of Mediterranean Sea Turtles (CESTMed). All sea users (public authorities, yachtsmen, divers, fishermen…) are invited to alert us if they come across a marine animal in distress.

Back to the sea
Before returning to the open sea, the turtles are placed in an open-air 160 m3 rehabilitation pool to ensure their capacity to return to the sea (feeding, swimming…). Some of them will be fitted with a “hightech backpack”. This scientific device will make it possible to collect vital data about their movements, behaviour or feeding areas. The general public will be able to follow the itinerary of these rehabilitated turtles on line. By contributing not only to their survival but also to greater knowledge of their life cycle, the CMSEM participates directly in the protection and conservation of these endangered species.

Accessible from the aquarium, this open-air amenity invites the visitor on a fabulous voyage. Drawn into the wake of these great migratory animals, the visitor becomes aware of their fragility and is invited to  pledge himself to their protection. An act of citizenship is proposed to young people too through educational activities.
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