In our new segment, we’ll be going beneath the surface with Mermaid Mikena to bring you awareness about the various marine life found in the oceans off Hawaii. Today’s topic: Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
A Smiling Face to Descend Down to
I can’t help but smile every time I see a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. Floating gracefully through the ocean, letting the current gently sway them back and forth. It’s no wonder turtles are a diver favorite and most requested when they come diving with Hawaii Eco Divers.
Let’s Learn About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
There’s many fascinating facts about these Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Believe it or not, they have lungs that are two-thirds as long as their entire back structure. This large lung size creates a capacity that allows them to stay underwater for many hours at a time.
We see many sizes of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle on our dives. But just how big can they get? They can get about 3-4 feet long and can weigh more than 300-350lbs! They also have long lifespans, having been documented living to ages 80 to 100.
Look… Don’t Touch
Unfortunately all sea turtles are listed as endangered species. However, this does provide them with much needed protection which resulted in a rise in population. Due to their endangered state, it is illegal to harm, harass, and even touch sea turtles, as contact can be dangerous to them.
Considering these regulations, keep this in mind when you are out in the water with sea turtles. Sea turtles are known to be friendly animals underwater, so they may come up close to you. These moments can be magical, it feels like you’re having a personal connection with a marine animal in its natural habitat, which is what diving is all about.
A Voice for the Ocean
As a divemaster in training, it’s important to me that I act as a role model in how to treat our marine life. Showing other divers the fascinating underwater world is one of my favorite things. It gives me the chance to open their eyes to what is below the surface, and what we need to fight for to protect.
Divers have the strongest voices in spreading awareness about ocean conservation.
Check out the work the Sea Turtle Conservancy is doing to save our sea turtles. They’re the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world! It’s organizations like this that we have to thank for fighting for our turtles. You can be a hero too, by saying no to single use plastics as those often end up in the stomachs of turtles!
Written by Divemaster Intern Mikena Shay