ECNU scientists release 99 sea turtles back into nature


Chen Min, a senior engineer with ECNU School of Life Sciences, released a total of 99 rescued sea turtles, either stranded or confiscated by law enforcement, back into their natural habitat in Lingshui County, Hainan Province. After proper training and rehabilitation, they are now capable of surviving in the wild again.

Chen and her team release sea turtles.

Researchers attached tracking devices to 10 of the sea turtles in order to learn about their habits in their natural habitat. This is of great value to research on conservation of the species, Chen said. We will also join hands with fishermen and residents along the coast of Hainan to preserve the marine ecosystem. The one that swam the farthest has already reached the waters off Shanwei City from Fenjizhou Island in Lingshui, where it was set free, Chen said. 

Chen has participated in the rescue, rehabilitation and releasing of sea turtles on multiple occasions. She is an expert of the Scientific Committee of Endangered Species of Aquatic and Wild Animals under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and a member of the International Sea Turtle Expert Advisory Committee under the First China Sea Turtle Conservation Alliance.

Before releasing a sea turtle, we have to make sure that it does not have any physical deformity that could possible affect its survival and movement, and that it is capable of self-feeding and well adapted to deep water and active swimming without flipping over, Chen said.

Chen and her team were appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to lead in drafting the Chinese Sea Turtle Protection Action Plan (2019-2033). Unveiled at the end of 2018, the plan provides operational guidelines for China's sea turtle protection and cooperation with other countries in this field.

To ensure the implementation of the plan, the first China Sea Turtle Conservation Alliance was established. As a member of the organization, ECNU has been making unremitting efforts for the noble cause. Over recent years, the alliance has enlisted a growing number of social organizations and people to join in the cause by carrying out popular science education, creating a cooperative mechanism and enhancing international exchanges and collaboration.

Source: ECNU School of Life Science

Copy editor: Philip Nash

Editor: Zhang Linlan


East China Normal University