Scuba diving to tag turtles with Dr Ronel Nel of NMMU

We had an amazing week in October working with the turtle scientists and scuba diving to catch turtles.

Leading up the dive team was Dr Ronel Nel.  Ronel has been in charge of the turtle research in this area and specifically at Bhanga Nek for years.  Sodwana bay has the oldest turtle monitoring research station in the world.  I joined them for one day's searching and this team doesn't mess about.  The teams of 3 drop and swim an area for 20 minutes at a time and these"mostly lady divers are fit!  When the scuba diving team see a turtle they indicate to the waiting crew on the boat and then more divers join the spotters with a large net to try and catch the turtles and bring them to the boat.  Once on the boat they take measurements and try and keep the turtles calm whilst a tracking device is fixed to the animals back and its fins are tagged.  The scientists can tell exactly where the turtles have come from by reading the tags as this is a worldwide initiative.

So if you see what looks like a remote control turtle when you are scuba diving on our amazing reefs, it's not it's just giving our amazing scientists useful information to help us to preserve these creatures numbers through research and monitoring.

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