WATCH: Turtles return to the wild
IT WAS quite the spectacle down at the Pass, Byron Bay when Australian Seabird Rescue released two more endangered sea turtles after months of care.
Crowds surrounded the volunteers as they brought out Jaimee the endangered Loggerhead and Mungo the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle.
Projects and Research Manager of ASR Rochelle Ferris addressed the crowd about issues facing endangered sea turtles and individual impact on these beautiful marine parks.
"We are here to raise the issues and remind people that we having critically endangered species in our backyard that we need to protect," Ms Ferris said.
Both sea turtles were found stranded on local beaches between Ballina and the Grafton area more than 4 months ago and have since been treated at the sea turtle hospital in Ballina.
Jaimee the Loggerhead sea turtle weighed only 37kgs and had an 80% barnacle load when she was found on the Richmond River on the December 15.
With only four and a half months in care Jaimee now weighs 51kgs on her release.
The Hawksbill sea turtle Mungo was found on January 4 covered 100% in barnacles and only weighing 6.2kgs
Since his entry at the sea turtle hospital Mungo made a full recovery.
Jaimee and Mungo are just two of the many sea turtles Seabird Rescue saves each year.
"We can rescue anywhere between 50 to 150 sea turtles in a one year period and that's between Tweed Head and Grafton," Ms Ferris said.
"We wanted to release the turtles in Byron to thank the Byron Shire Council for refusing shark meshing in their shire. Especially because it is the home of a beautiful marine park and we want to raise awareness with visitors and residents, that we do have these amazing species here that we want to protect."