Pemba Update – 8 June 2018

On 16 December 2017 the Two Oceans Aquarium released Yoshi the loggerhead turtle back into the ocean.  Maryke Musson, curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium, gives us the latest Pemba (and Yoshi) update.  

“Pemba had a little coastal detour and literally crossed Yoshi’s tracks quite a few times. What made this, along the West coast just north of Doringbaai and Strandfontein so interesting, is that Yoshi’s first very close to shore exploring occurred in the exact same location. 

Pemba has been out at sea since the 8th of March 2018 and has since traveled about 6700 kilometers! That averages out at 76 kilometers per day. What a champ. I must remind you all though that Pemba made incredibly good use of the Agulhas current, and is a master smart swimmer. Turtles quite often only swim actively for about 2 hours per day, and make use of currents and eddies to cover longer distances and this is called smart swimming.

Pemba is currently about 45 kilometers offshore in approximately 16.5°C water – which is a bit on the chilly side, however, she is very close to 18°C water and heading in the right direction. She still has about 300 kilometers of the South African West Coast water to go before she can get her passport stamped swimming into Namibian waters.

Pemba might very well continue to head up the coast and have a good look at the nesting sites along Angola. The World Conservation Society is managing 2 fantastic Olive Ridley conservation programs in Angola and more than 600 Olive Ridley nests are being monitored during nesting season by the Kitabanga project. If Pemba does not fancy a mate in this area, she might continue to Gabon or cross the Atlantic to get to Brazil, Mexico or Florida. 

If she keeps up her swimming pace she might even catch up to Yoshi.

We are incredibly happy about being able to follow these remarkable animals and sharing their journeys in the big open ocean with everybody.”