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SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s supports Recycling Week

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s supports Recycling Week
October 21, 2020

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s currently has five rescued sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation, prompting the team to offer their support for Recycling Week NZ (19th to 25th October) to help educate the public about positive recycling habits.

Recycling Week NZ is all about encouraging New Zealanders to be conscious about their procurement and disposal practices and adopt effective recycling habits in order to create a waste free future for New Zealand.

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarist, Jessica van de Pas advises “the team at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s is supporting Recycling Week as plastic pollution has a harmful effect on sea creatures. Turtles are particularly susceptible as they often mistake plastic for food, resulting in intestinal blockages, starvation and unnatural buoyancy.”

In the past three months alone, three rescued sea turtles have arrived at the aquarium’s Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Te Fiti the green sea turtle came to the team in September after being found ill and dehydrated at Muriwai Beach. A tiny loggerhead hatchling named Puck was washed up on Ninety Mile Beach. Weighing in at only 182.5 grams, the tiny turtle was dehydrated and covered in barnacles. The team also tried to help save a hawksbill turtle found washed up at the Bay of Island earlier this month but unfortunately the turtle did not survive.

Te Fiti and Puck join Taka the Eastern Pacific green and two loggerheads named Abby and Kibou in their recovery at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s, which is New Zealand’s only turtle rehabilitation facility. The team monitor their health closely and, where necessary, treat wounds, administer antibiotics and feed the turtles via tubes.

Taka, Abby and Kibou are currently swimming in the aquarium’s Turtle Bay display for all guests to see, whereas Te Fiti and Puck are behind-the-scenes undergoing treatment. The team is aiming to release the turtles back into the ocean in the future.

This week, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s is sharing social media content that seeks to educate people about recycling and to provide practical tips for people to put in action at home, work or school.

Van de Pas added “we are encouraging New Zealanders to get involved in Recycling Week and learn how to adopt positive recycling habits to help prevent more turtles from ingesting plastic that could have been recycled. We also want people to remember to call 0800 DOC HOT if they come across any sick or stranded sea turtles on our shores.”

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s has cared for more than 100 turtles over the past 20 years as part of ‘Team Turtle’ together with the Department of Conservation and contracted vets from Auckland Zoo.

For further information about Recycling Week including recycling tips and challenges, visit

SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s is currently open from Thursday to Monday. All visitors must pre-book their tickets online in advance. Visit for more information.

Image of Taka the Eastern Pacific green courtesy of SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s

Related Articles

13th May 2020 - SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium reopens with additional health and safety measures

23rd October 2018 - Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s wins Environmental Excellence Award

10th September 2020 - South Australia becomes first state to ban single-use plastics but ban delayed until 2021 due to COVID-19

14th August 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society claims ACT Government is delaying comprehensive single use plastic legislation

15th July 2020 - Queensland Government moves to ban single-use plastics to save marine life

26th June 2020 - WISE thanked for eliminating 300,000 single use plastic cups from landfill during FIRE FIGHT concert

11th March 2020 - New CSIRO research shows ocean plastic returning to Australian coastlines

16th February 2020 - Wellington’s Round the Bays event eliminates plastic bottles

3rd February 2020 - ACT takes action to phase out single-use plastic products

23rd January 2020 - Global tourism initiative to combat plastic pollution

24th November 2018 - Phuket launches ground breaking ‘No Foam No Plastic’ environmental initiative

28th May 2018 - Zoos and aquariums look to reduce plastic waste

12th July 2017 - Taronga Zoo moves toward plastic-free operations

16th March 2019 - Flatback Sea Turtles at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium help raise awareness of endangered marine life

23rd May 2017 - Kelly Tarlton’s and Auckland Zoo celebrate World Turtle Day

18th May 2013 - New education initiative to mark World Turtle Day celebrated at Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium

26th December 2014 - Kelly Tarlton’s opens underwater splash playground

6th June 2014 - Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium dives in to support endangered dolphins

5th March 2013 - Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium hosts beach clean-up for Seaweek

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