Maui Ocean Center-raised honu are released in ocean

Six new sea turtle hatchlings expected in coming weeks

Diver Scott Benson releases a green sea turtle into the ocean off Maui on Thursday after being hatched at Sea Life Park Hawaii on Oahu and raised at the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea. Maui Ocean Center / EVAN PASCUAL photo

Two Hawaiian green sea turtles, hatched at Sea Life Park Hawaii on Oahu and raised at the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea, were released into the ocean Thursday.

Kekoa (Turtle C) and Kanoa (Turtle D) were released from the Ali’i Nui catamaran. It was a bittersweet moment for the ocean center’s curators, who have fed, cleaned and cared for the honu for the past two years, an ocean center news release said.

Since establishing its partnership with Sea Life Park Hawaii in 1998, Maui Ocean Center has raised and released 74 Hawaiian green sea turtles.

Both turtles were released with Passive Integrated Transponder Tags as well as “MOC” and a letter marked on their shell for identification purposes. The ocean center encourages the public to keep an eye out for the turtles and to report sightings to the ocean center by phone at 270-7075 or email at info@mauioceancenter.com. The report should include the date, time, ID letter and location.

The ocean center currently has four 2-year-old turtles under its care with more on the way, the news release said. The aquarium anticipates the arrival of six sea turtle hatchlings in the coming weeks, which eventually will be exhibited in the ocean center’s Turtle Lagoon.

Kekoa Turtle C and Kanoa Turtle D, Hawaiian green sea turtles, were released into the ocean Thursday as part of a program in conjunction with Sea Life Park Hawaii on Oahu. Maui Ocean Center / EVAN PASCUAL photo

All turtles are provided by Sea Life Park Hawaii through the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Educational Loan Program.

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