Ally The Green Sea Turtle Swims Free After Successful Rehabilitation at Sea Shelter at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters Anna Bay Port Stephens Port Stephens News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - November 2, 2020 Turtle rescuer Ben Sharp returns Ally to Boat Harbour where he rescued her. THE team at Sea Shelter are proud to have been able to release Ally the green sea turtle. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] Ally came into care when spear fisherman Ben Sharp found her at Boat Harbour, and she didn’t appear well. The Port Stephens based conservation organisation Sea Shelter, working closely with Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters, has been involved in many sea turtle rescues over the years, however has always driven them to Taronga Wildlife Hospital for their ongoing rehabilitation. Since opening their new location at 2 Jessie Road in Anna Bay, Irukandji has the facilities and space to allow rehabilitation right here in Port Stephens with Sea Shelter working from the quarantine area. Thanks to National Parks and Wildlife, WINC and the amazing Taronga Wildlife Hospital, Irukandji and Sea Shelter are now off and running with the release of their very first rehabilitated sea turtle here in Port Stephens. Ally is a juvenile green sea turtle with a carapace measuring 45cm. She was brought to Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters by Ben Sharp; a concerned citizen on 9 September 2020 at around 10:30am. Ally originally presented with a severe laceration to her left flipper caused by fishing line which been cut off. Resident Marine Biologist at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters Ryan Pereira told News Of The Area, “To ensure there were no bone infections or breaks, Ally was x-rayed with the assistance of The Wild Vet, Emma. “The X-ray showed no breaks or bone infections, just a mild bacterial infection that was determined through blood analysis from the gaping wound. “The Vet put Ally onto a broad antibiotic for six weeks, as well as a highly nutritional diet to boost her weight and strength,” he said. Ally responded well to the treatments and on 21 October 2020, she was deemed healthy enough to return to her ocean home. Owners of Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters and founders of Sea Shelter Lia and Ryan Pereira, along with Sea Shelter volunteers, took Ally back to Boat Harbour for release. Ben Sharp who brought Ally into care carried her back to the waters edge for the release. With a slow first start, once she was in the water she was quick to get back out there. Ally is back where she belongs and is hopefully not the last sea turtle that the team at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters will be able to help. According to the WWF there are only a few large nesting populations of green turtles remaining in the world and Australia has some of the largest. The continued health of green turtle populations has a large bearing on the overall health of seagrass communities. Turtle grazing helps to maintain the seagrass beds and keep them productive with the turtles recycling nutrients, which makes them available to many other animals and plants. Seagrass beds which are healthy create a nursery environment for invertebrates and fish. In many ways sea turtles contribute to food security. By Marian SAMPSON The team that participated in Ally’s care celebrating a successful release.