Mote reported that one nest had hatched on Longboat Key and another hatched on Venice June 28.
One Longboat Key loggerhead sea turtle nest has officially hatched.
Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Patrol documented one hatched nest on Venice and one on Longboat Key on Thursday, June 28. These hatchlings are the first discovered by daily beach patrols this year. Eggs take between 45 and 65 days to hatch.
The tracks from the hatchlings indicated that they made the trek from their nest to the water without any obstacles or disorientation, a statement from Mote said.
As of June 30, 633 turtle nests had been found on Longboat Key in 2018. At this time last year, 887 nests were documented.
Sea turtle nests will continue to hatch for the rest of nesting season, which ends Oct. 31. Mote reminds beachgoers to be wary of their behavior on the beach. Beachgoers should not approach nesting turtles or hatchlings or shine lights at the turtles. Outdoor lights that are visible from the beach should be shielded or turned off at night, any holes should be filled in when people leave the beach, and beach furniture should be stacked near the dunes at the end of the day.
“The biggest thing to remember on the Fourth of July is to make sure everyone picks up their belongings and their trash after they’re done on the beach,” said Melissa Bernhard, Senior Biologist at Mote in the statement. “Items left out on the beach can pose hazardous obstacles to sea turtles and their young, because the turtles can ingest them or get entangled.”