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Punalu'u, Hawai'i 

Sea Turtles

Punalu'u is one of the best areas on the island to study sea turtles. George Balaz of the National Marine Fisheries is a world-wide authority on sea turtles and has been studying them at Punalu'u since 1982. Using a federal permit turtles are captured, tagged and released to obtain information about their health, biology and ecology. Illustrated below is a sequence of shots taken during the capture of a green sea turtle for scientific purposes.

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A green sea turtle swims up from the bottom where it was feeding on seaweeds.

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George Balaz slowly approaches the turtle.

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George's assistants reach out to capture a turtle

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George and two assistants hold on the turtle. Sea turtles are very strong and require several people to safely hold them. The captured turtle is placed on a large inner tube and carried to shore where it it studied for 15-20 minutes. After which the turtle is released back into the water.

  See Punalu'u research for more information on turtles


Last update: 1/25/2005