WASHINGTON (CN) – The Texas State Aquarium may hold and restrain sea turtles affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to examine their health and provide any aid they might need, according to a letter of authorization issued by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
Five species of giant sea turtles, the hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles, have been threatened by the oil spill. As they are listed under the Endangered Species Act, interaction with them must be approved by the agency.
The permission allows aquarium staff to attach satellite transmitters and tags, transport live and dead turtles, and find and retrieve eggs for incubation, hatching and release.
The agency’s authorization will continue indefinitely until it determines the sea turtles are no longer threatened by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.