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TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — You usually think of rain delays for baseball games. Today weather delayed some sea turtles making it into the ocean off Topsail Island. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital released 15 turtles back into the wild this even at a time where an ongoing oil spill leaves an uncertain future for their kind.

Through thunder, lightning, and torrential rains Mother Nature was not enough to stop these rescued sea turtles from loading up and heading on their way back home.

“This is the special one because these are the turtles that have been waiting for the water to warm up,” Sea Turtle Hospital founder Jean Beasley said. “Some of them have been ready to go for a while, and they’re about to go through their tanks. They know they’re ready to go. They’re telling us that.”

But the waters of the ocean are a more uncertain place than these turtles left it many months ago. The threat of a major oil spill is threatening the survival of their species in the Gulf of Mexico.

“A catastrophe like this can wipe out generations of a species, so it is very hard to recover from that,” Beasley said.

The Sea Turtle Hospital is on stand-by to receive any turtles affected by the spill, but hasn’t seen any yet.

“We hope that we have some turtles that need rehab, that’s one of the problems right now, they’re not making it,” Beasley said. “The one’s that are in it just are dying.”

With efforts to stop the oil spill so uncertain, it’s hard to say how safe their future is in the waters of the Atlantic.

“I do have those concerns, and I have those concerns because we, especially with it continuing to pump oil, we very likely, it used to be a no possibility, then a slim possibility. It gets more and more likely all the time that we will have some effects from that,” Beasley said.

Though experts say it’s highly unlikely oil from the spill will make it to our shores, if it doesl, releases like today’s may have to be halted for some time.

The Sea Turtle Hospital has outgrown its current building in Topsail Beach since it was founded in 1996. The group broke ground on a new larger facility two weeks ago in Surf City, where they will be able to care for many more sick and injured sea turtles.

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6 Comments on "Gulf oil a concern as rehabbed turtles go back to wild"

2015 years 10 months ago

Maybe the commercial fisherman will realize that they’re only hurting themselves by fighting the laws that are helping to conserve the fish population — AND reduce the amount of by-catch. I hate to generalize, because I know many commercial fisherman who are responsible, and want to do everything possible to preserve what is here.

If you weren’t so greedy and concerned with the immediate gratification from long-line and gill net fishing – maybe your kind wouldn’t have to resort to mutilating turtles and threatening the lives of those who are enacting change. Many of the injured turtles that are brought into the hospital are done so by RESPONSIBLE fisherman.

Your argument lost all credibility after the mutilated and abused turtles started showing up on the island, the death threats, and the harassment against those who are trying to protect the balance of nature. Especially now that your kind has started personally attacking and threatening people…who is harassing whom?

For those who don’t know…multiple parties have made death threats against Jean as well as threatened to burn down the turtle hospital because of her actions regarding restrictions on gill nets and long lines….that’s sure to get the kind of results you want, right?

Maybe you should ask yourself why there’s only a few states left that allow this type of fishing? Could it be that it’s non-selective and is actually destroying the fish stock that you depend on to make your living?

So far, all of the ‘militant’ (re)actions sound like the last futile gesture of a small (minded) group of individuals who are only concerned with themselves, and are incapable of looking at the big(ger) picture.

As for the folks who have been mutilating turtles, harassing and threatening the folks who have dedicated their lives to saving them….there’s a special place in Hell for you.

Maybe you’d like to come out from behind your keyboard, and let us know your suggestions? Be sure to let us know the name of the company you represent – or who you sell to – so the rest of us can make a decision as to whether we want to purchase your products?

2015 years 10 months ago

just to see if this get posted….if so, just shows this channel is supporting those who have threatened the Jean Beasley – as all the other posts have been blocked!

2015 years 10 months ago

maybe the commercial fishermen will quit beating them out of the nets and trying to start releasing them unharmed so that they don’t have to end up in the sea turtle hospital

2015 years 10 months ago

if the commercial fishermen would be a HUMAN BEING and release the turtles from the NETS instead of BEATING them out and quit blaming their faults on someone else we would not have to have a turtle release or a sea turtle hospital

2015 years 10 months ago

First of all, that was an amazing day. I can’t believe how much fun that was. Congratulations to Jean and the volunteers. You did a great job. It was worth dodging lightning to see Baldy and Onslow swim away. Very cool.

Guest6566: I hope the Turtle Hospital continues to be champions of this cause. I don’t know if you work for an oil company or if you’re a commercial fisherman, but I can’t imagine you’re happy about the spill in the gulf. In fact, I don’t know any Gulf Cost fishermen who could possibly be happy with what’s going on down there. It is horrible. My friends who fish there are devastated. Annihilated.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be sitting here arguing with the Turtle Hospital about gill netting and a oil spill kills all the fish and turtles. It would end the argument quick. I’m not even sure if the crickets would make a peep. And it’s people like Jean and the volunteers who spoke out to protect where we live and our way of life who will be the ones who protect us from similar disasters.

Guest6566, you sound angry. Or annoyed. I’m sorry you feel threatened by the people who help these turtles. They are good people whose kindness extends well beyond the walls of the hospital. They act in a generous way, a kind way in every aspect of their life. In church In schools. With their kids. These are volunteers, not career politicians. Not Washington lobbyists. These are people who care and give their time to do some good.

Again, I don’t know you Guest6566, but if you’d take the time to go to the turtle rescue and see what they are doing, you’d have a better insight into why they are so passionate about helping these turtles. I don’t see any problem with having commercial fishermen who use gill nets be more responsible, police themselves better, and therefore make our wetlands safer for everything and everyone. If they can’t fish in a sustainable, responsible manner, they shouldn’t be allowed to fish. I don’t know how anyone can disagree with that point. And some of these people are doing things none of the commercial fishermen would advocate the torture of these turtles, or pelicans, or any of God’s creatures.

It is unfortunate that the gill netters haven’t been able to police themselves. That has fueled this movement to eliminate the practice. It’s a shame, but it’s obvious that they can now/will not change.

I don’t know anyone on either side of this issue who would approve of unnecessary killing and wasteful practices. There has to be better and more effective, less wasteful or damaging ways to catch fish.

Tend your garden.

For me, I had no idea what the Beasley Rescue did until I found a Loggerhead that had been caught in a gill net and who eventually died despite the heroic effort of the rescue team and hospital staff. (RIP, Rain) If you aren’t upset by this, you haven’t seen what’s going on. It’s worth the time to find out more. See Redfish Can’t Jump—a great local fishing movie.

I hope other people, like Guest6566, consider that when we talk about the environment, we’re talking about our back yard. We’re talking about our neighborhood, our beach, our inlet and creeks. It’s not some intangible nebulous concept. I want my kids to be able to swim and fish here. If there are no oysters, there are no filters for the water. If we mess with our waterways too much, it’ll be gone. A wasteland.

If anyone of you have hunted, can you still hunt in the same places you did when you were young? Can you still catch the same fish where you used to fish? Are there as many? Are the fish as big? Do you get mad at Ducks unlimited for their conservation efforts? I know you want to be able to fish in the future. I know you like to eat oysters. I know it’s your way of life. Why aren’t you stepping up to help?

Bottom line—We can kill off everything we hold sacred—everything that defines our way of life— or we can responsibly manage it, bring it back to strength, nurse it back to health.

Wow. What a tangent. Jean and staff, great job. I need to get back to work. Sorry, Guest6566. I don’t know your parents, but Guest6566 must be a hard name to grow up with—especailly in middle school. I bet the kids really teased you for such an odd name. Kids can be so cruel. Not like adults.


2015 years 10 months ago

Maybe they will quit bothering the commercial fisherman and start with the oil companies.


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