Turtle spotted off Welsh coast in rare sighting

0
23


This is the incredible moment a 5ft leatherback turtle swam next to a fishing boat off the coast of north Wales in what is a “once-in-a-lifetime” moment.

The massive sea creature, which is more often found on the Californian coast, swam alongside Jack Thomas’ boat during a chartered fishing trip.

Mr Thomas, who runs Incentive Sea Fishing Trips from Rhos-on-Sea, had taken Paul Waterworth and his 10-year-old son Oliver out angling on Thursday afternoon.

Six miles off the Conwy coast the giant turtle surfaced near the boat and swam with them for a short while before diving back underwater and disappearing.



The moment the massive turtle surfaced next to the Welsh fishing boat



Paul Waterworth and his son Oliver during their ‘once in a lifetime’ trip

The species are the largest turtles in the world living for up to 100 years and are rarely spotted in UK waters.

There is a leatherback turtle on display at the National Museum in Cardiff which was washed ashore on Harlech beach, Gwynedd, in September 1988. Sadly, the turtle had drowned after being trapped by fishing lines and it was approximately 100 years old when it died.

At the time, the turtle attracted worldwide attention as it was the largest and heaviest turtle ever recorded, measuring almost 3m (9ft) in length and weighing 914 kilograms (2,016 pounds).

Mr Thomas said that in the 20 years he had worked on the boats, ever since he was a child, he had never seen a turtle before. It was a real treat for Mr Waterworth and his son, who were staying in Llandudno while on holiday from Warrington.

Oliver named the turtle Harold and his dad joked that the family’s mantra of reducing plastic waste to save the turtles had taken on a new significance.

Mr Thomas said he was “buzzing” after witnessing the spectacle. “It’s the first I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing and the first I’ve ever heard of being seen off this coast,” he added.

“I said to Paul that he would never see that again.”

Leatherback turtles are extremely migratory and cross both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Pacific leatherbacks migrate from nesting beaches in the Coral Triangle all the way to the California coast to feed on the abundant jellyfish every summer and autumn.

However, their range extends along the Gulf Stream all the way to the Irish Sea.

Although their distribution is wide, numbers of leatherback turtles have seriously declined during the last century as a result of intense egg collection and fishing. Globally, leatherback status is listed as vulnerable, but many sub-populations (such as in the Pacific and Southwest Atlantic) are critically endangered.



Source link

قالب وردپرس

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here