Photo by <a href="https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/faces-sea-turtle-conservation-jeff-seminoff-marine-ecologist">NOAA</a>
NOAA's Jeff Seminoff with the largest ever weighed green sea turtle, San Diego’s own Wrinklebutt.
The Gulf of Ulloa is south/southeast of San Diego along the Pacific coast of the Baja peninsula. It is vibrant with sea life. Whales cruise and forage the gulf during annual migratory patterns; tuna, wahoo, marlin and dorado are caught by sport fishing and commercial vessels in abundance; many marine animals fall victim to the nets and lines of the fishing enterprises in the Gulf of Ulloa. Sea turtles are no exception.
- Saturday, November 24, 2018, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
999 Bayside Parkway,
$25 - $50
NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and CEDO (the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans) has established a partnership with the Mexican fishing fleets that operate in the gulf. With monitoring devices installed on each vessel and by-catch limits imposed by the Mexican authorities, the rate of sea turtles killed as by-catch has dropped over the past few decades,
In San Diego's South Bay, green sea turtles survive. One sickly green sea turtle was taken from there to Sea World to assess what was wrong with it. Other than a mangled flipper and a missing tail that were old wounds, four bullets were also found.
Of the population of green sea turtles found in the southern-most portion of San Diego Bay, one turtle in particular holds the record of the largest ever recorded at 550 pounds as of 2012. The large female had a deformed shell and was given the name Wrinklebutt. Wrinklebutt was last sighted in 2012. When the power plant was shut down and its warm effluent stopped flowing into the bay. Scientists thought that the turtles might leave, but they did not. The population has remained at around sixty animals over the years since; some migrate, and some stay year-round, feeding in the warm shallows between the Coronado Cays and the southern end of the bay.
For a chance of an up-close turtle sighting, Ocean Connectors Eco Tours offers a Port of San Diego sponsored two-hour guided kayaking tour inside south San Diego Bay. During the tour, kayakers use waterproof binoculars and field guides to observe birds, sea turtles, fish, and rays as they paddle through the Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve.