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Freeing a Sea Turtle from Barnacles in Abu Dhabi

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During a jet ski ride in Abu Dhabi, Shuaib discovers a young sea turtle, its mobility compromised by a heavy encrustation of barnacles. This account of rescue and liberation delves deeper into the complex relationship between sea turtles and barnacles, revealing the silent yet significant challenges these marine creatures endure.

Turtle rescued
Shuaib held a rescued baby sea turtle before removing the barnacles and returning it to the waters of Abu Dhabi. © Newsflare YouTube

A Marine Encounter

In the waters of Abu Dhabi, Shuaib’s attention is captured by the unusual sight of a struggling turtle. A closer inspection reveals the culprit – a dense covering of barnacles, each adding to the turtle’s burden and impeding its natural grace in the water.

The Complex Coexistence

Barnacles attach to sea turtles for transport to diverse feeding grounds. However, this relationship is far from symbiotic. While barnacles benefit from this mobile habitat, sea turtles bear the physical toll.

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© Newsflare YouTube

A Deeper Issue

Beyond the visible encrustation, some barnacles possess a more insidious nature. They burrow into the turtle’s skin, causing discomfort and potential health issues. This intrusion affects the turtle’s physical well-being and can lead to increased vulnerability to infections and diseases.

A Compassionate Response

Aware of the immediate need, Shuaib meticulously removes each barnacle. Every piece detached not only lightens the turtle’s physical load but also alleviates the discomfort caused by those that might be burrowing into its skin.

A Moment of Liberation

Freed from its unwelcome passengers, the turtle returns to the ocean with renewed vigor. This incident underscores the silent yet significant trials sea turtles face and the profound impact of human intervention, however small it may seem.

Raising Awareness

it’s essential to highlight alternative methods of barnacle removal to safeguard the turtles. One such practice involves temporarily placing the affected turtle in fresh water. This process aids in loosening the barnacles for easier removal, minimizing the risk of injury. Although Shuaib carefully removed the barnacles with his bare hands in the open water, this freshwater method offers a gentle alternative, especially for turtles with barnacles attached to sensitive areas, ensuring their safe and healthy return to the ocean.

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Latest posts by Cayla de Souza, M.Sc. Ocean Sciences & Marine Biology (see all)

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