Banyuls-sur-Mer: Fantine’s fantastic fate, a young turtle released into the Mediterranean after being accidentally caught

This is the story of a young Loggerhead turtle entangled in the nets of a trawler, two months ago off Grau-du-Roi, and released on Friday, June 3, in its natural environment under the gaze of school children and photographers. A beautiful image of the Cerbère-Banyul oats reserve and the conservation of biodiversity.

It was exactly at 11.22 this Friday, June 3, when the Fantine turtle regained its freedom in the blue waters of the Mediterranean. A star departure under the sirens from many boats that came to escort the animal to its natural environment. Among the divers by his side, former Koh-Lanta candidate Ugo Lartiche was one of the last to approach him.

It was unique. There were all these people at sea, and this image of the beast that became free again … At first it remained two to three meters below the surface, and suddenly it dived. Seeing her go to the bottom of this monster, with the sun’s rays, it took my breath away. I did not expect to feel this“, Tells the adventurer back on the dry.

It must be said that this Loggerhead turtle has come a long way. She was accidentally caught two months ago in the fishing nets of a trawler off Grau-du-Roi (Gard), and was then gathered at the Center for the Study and Protection of Mediterranean Turtles (Cestmed) in time to regain strength.

The 3-4 year old turtle weighs 5.6 kilos.
Independent – Clementz Michel

It is a turtle that was not injured, it was just very weak and had small pieces of plastic in its body. She is a really small baby, she must be barely three or four years old, weighs 5.6 kg, and we do not yet know if she is a male or a female. ” explains Jean-Baptiste Sénégas, director of this care center, which was set up 20 years ago and which collects about thirty copies each year.

It’s a beautiful picture for Banyuls, the reserve, the department …

As for its habits, this marine species travels on average about thirty kilometers a day and can weigh 100 kilos. “It is a migratory species, so one year it lays eggs in Greece, the next year it goes to the French Mediterranean coast to eat and so on for life. It is still quite rare to be able to observe it, emphasizes the Director of Cestmed. At sea, it looks like a small piece of wood floating when it comes to the surface to warm up or sunbathe. ” While there are about 10,000 couplings a year in the Mediterranean, this animal remains mainly threatened by accidental catches in fishing nets, collisions with boats or ingestion of plastic.

Students from the schools Banyus, Cerbère or Argelès had taken the trip.

Students from the schools Banyus, Cerbère or Argelès had taken the trip.
Independent – Clementz Michel

A beautiful spotlight also for this 650 hectare marine nature park, which is emblematic of the Côte Vermeille, which has the special thing of mentioning no less than 1,200 animal and 500 plant species in such a small area. “It is a beautiful image for Banyuls, the reserve, the department … It is also an opportunity to raise awareness among the public and children. People need to be aware of what is at stake around this species and in turn try to protect the sea and the animals.“, insists Frédéric Cadene, curator of a nature reserve, the scope of which should be expanded in the coming months.

A moment of emotion also for Hermeline Malherbe, chair of the Pyrénées-Orientales department and head of the reserve, which was set up in 1974. “We care a lot about the living symbol and what it represents for all of us and especially the younger generation. We are on a concrete example of biodiversity conservation. ”

For the anecdote, Fantine will be the future first name given to the daughter of the fisherman from Grau-du-Roi, and to whom we wish a long life as unique as that of the turtles.

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