Missing Turtle

Larry

For more than a year there was a turtle living at Fish Eye Marine Park. He ate the food that they threw in the water for the fish, and visited with the tourists. Some people called him “Larry,” and other people called him “Crush.”

I don’t know what he called himself.

However, he had a small metal tag under each front flipper. One said NOAA Maui USA, and the other said PI2775. He was a green sea turtle who was approximately 50 years of age, and he had a girl turtle in the Piti Bomb Holes near by that he seemed to visit with.

In Mid-July, the tour operators at Fish Eye watched as people from the Department of Agriculture came and took Larry the turtle away.

They said they were taking him “to study,” according to the tour operators.

However, when we called the Department of Agriculture, they ¬†claimed that the turtle “was a nuisance” and so as moved “to the other side of the island.”

Now of course, this was not his first time being caught on Guam. The Marine Biologists at Underwater World took him for study. They weighed him, measured him, and then released him on the other side of the island.

He swam right back, because he enjoys people and food.

However, after the Department of Agriculture claims to have taken him “to the other side of the island,” he did not swim back.

He was a very strong swimmer, and you can be sure that he was capable. How can you be sure, you ask? Well, the people at Underwater World were actually hoping that they could find some evidence that his rear flipper (which was damaged) made it too difficult for him to be in the wild.

They hoped this because they have a rescued sea turtle in the aquarium already, and they hoped for a second.

However, according to the laws governing the treatment of an endangered species, if they are found to be able to survive on their own, they cannot be “rescued.”

Ergo, we know that if the turtle had actually been released by the Department of Agriculture, he would have swam back as he had done before.

We cannot make conclusions from the information that we have. However, we can know two things for sure.

1. Turtle meat fetches a high price on Guam and on the other islands in the chain, because the Native people eat turtle. They know that these turtles are endangered, but some choose to do it anyway. Anyone who took the turtle to sell would have made a LOT of money.

2. They were very suspicious on the phone and asked for my husband’s full name and information before claiming that the turtle was moved. If they are keeping track of who is asking, then one would suggest that they have a reason to be worried.

I am not saying that the Department of Agriculture sold the turtle. However, I am saying without a doubt that they were the last people to have him, and that in two months, he has still not been sighted anywhere else.

If they did not sell him, then their choice to move him certainly seems to have brought about his untimely demise, leaving his girlfriend single and removing his genes from the species.

Furthermore, I spoke with several tour operators who said the initial complaint against the turtle was falsified.

They claim that he was good for business and made the tourists happy and that they would never have done anything that led to his removal.

It is certainly suspicious.

I hope that there will be an investigation, since selling an endangered species for profit is obviously illegal. However, given the diminished funding of the EPA, I worry that justice will not be served.

turtle and zebra fish.jpg

Side Note:

I have also not seen the female turtle who was hanging around the Piti Bomb Holes near Fish Eye. However, I am not sure that not seeing her is significant. Green Sea Turtles are not social, and it is possible that she was just around to “visit” a boy turtle for a bit.

This is what she looked like:

girlfriend

If you look, you can see that you doesn’t have a tail that extends past her shell, or claws on her flippers. Only males have those traits (which is actually to hold onto the female’s shell.)

She was a little smaller than the male turtle, but they seemed similar in size and age.

girlfriend two

Anyway:

The point of this post is that if anyone has any information about the green sea turtle lovingly called “Larry” or “Crush” who used to live at Fish Eye Marine Park, please let me know.

Thank you.

Dive at Fish Eye

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My husband got dive certified after me, and his instructor let me tag along. (That’s me above; not that you can tell.)

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We went to Fish Eye, which I have snorkeled several times. It was interesting to dive there.

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The class went around the base of the Fish Eye tourist attraction.

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I followed along, and got pictures of them feeding the fish.

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There are all kinds of fish, including groupers and barracudas.

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It was a short dive. We only stayed down for about 45 minutes.

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However, we got to see a lot of things in that time, and it was fun.

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If you are in Guam, I recommend going to Fish Eye Marine Park.

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It is a long walk out from shore, but there is a path to follow under the bridge, so it’s not so bad.

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And now, my husband and I are both certified to dive!

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Fish Eye Marine Park

 

 

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Since I loved to Guam, I feel like I spend a lot of my time underwater. One of the best places to do that is Fish Eye Marine Park.

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Grab your snorkel and wade out under the bridge. When you get into water that is too deep to stand, start swimming to the left.

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This is bring you through an ancient forest of coral, and give you the opportunity to see a lot of cool fish.

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Normally, you wouldn’t want to feed the fish in the ocean. However, they already feed them as the fish eye tourist attraction, so sometimes I bring along some rice to give them.

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They are so used to eating food from humans that they swam all around and it’s cute.

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I am trying to learn all the names of the fish, but unfortunately the locals want to teach me the Chamorro words. That’s not something I will ever use outside of Guam.

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Once I find a fish guide for this (very remote) part of the Pacific Ocean, I will try to caption future fish pictures with the names of the fish.

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In the meantime, here are some pictures of things you can see at Fish Eye.

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I think this is a butterfly fish.

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And, I know this one is called a flounder.

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As for this little guy, I know he’s a rainbow parrot fish.

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This seems to have a shape like a damsel fish.

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And, this one I do know. It’s a Picasso Triggerfish. They bite, so avoid them.

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Here’s a star fish. Ours our blue, but usually they have five arms. I am not sure why this one has six.

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And, this is a Picasso Triggerfish with a Wrasse. I really enjoy the different kinds of Wrasse, but I don’t know all their names.

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Whatever this one is, it has a great pattern. Shame they’re always digging up the sand so it’s hard to get a good picture.

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This is another kind of Triggerfish, but I don’t know its name.

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And this is a stag coral forest full of fish. This is to the left of the Fish Eye, swimming into the Piti Bomb Holes. However, there is a lot of stag coral to the right of the bridge as well.

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Some of the bomb holes are very deep, but there are lots of shallow places too. Don’t be afraid to swim over the deep parts to get to the shallower parts.

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You can go all the way out to the reef, which is past the Fish Eye bridge and the Fish Eye structure at least another 100 meters.

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There are great views and huge coral forests covering a huge area, so look around a lot!

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