Anna Dicker, Grant Evington, Stuart Currie and Steve Denison of Australian Seabird Rescue release rehabilitated green sea turtles back into the ocean at Ballina.
Anna Dicker, Grant Evington, Stuart Currie and Steve Denison of Australian Seabird Rescue release rehabilitated green sea turtles back into the ocean at Ballina. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Sick turtles get new lease on life

AFTER washing up sick late last year on North Coast beaches, five green sea turtles have made their way back to health and the ocean.

Members of Australian Seabird Rescue released them in front of 100 onlookers at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina on Saturday.

"Usually we only release two, so it's great to be able to let five go today," Australian Seabird Rescue acting general manager Keith Williams said.

"We normally do this at Byron Bay because we release them into the marine park but we chose to do this in Ballina because Australian Seabird Rescue gets a lot of support from the community here."

Although the swell was rough and winds strong, Mr Williams said the turtles would have no problems reaching open waters.

Before the release on Saturday, a group of people cleaned up rubbish at Shaws Bay and filled 30 garbage bags.

"One third of all the turtles that we see are coming in because they've eaten plastic," Mr Williams said.

"We deliberately organised today to have people doing a clean-up of plastic before the turtle release so that those who aren't making the connection between plastics and turtle deaths can understand there is one."



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