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I saw a turtle with a growth around its eye during a dive and it kept trying to scratch it with its flipper. Someone told me that these are caused by pollution? If so, what type of pullatants cause this?
They are called fibropapillomas, likely caused by the herpes-type virus. Research shows that some turtles recover, but I've heard that if the tumors are really bad and the turtles can be caught, they're taken to Oahu to have them removed.
Below is a quote from the above website. I heard pollution also but I suspect that's more people with an agenda speaking about it.
Unfortunately, honu (greens) are suffering from a disease called fibropapillomatosis. This herpes-family virus causes the growth of white to blackish, cauliflower-like tumors. These grow on the soft tissues of the turtle’s body, internally and externally, and inhibit foraging, breathing, mobility and digestion. It is unclear what causes this disease, but research is ongoing worldwide to find a cure.
A LOT of turtles I see here have it. Some really bad! Very sad sight to see. Only one turtle got rescued, sent to Oahu, had surgery and was returned to the wild. One lucky one that got named "Hearty" (short for Heartbreak). Most are left to die a slow, starvation style death.
There should be someone here locally like at the ocean center that could help these poor guys out. Ot is terrible seeing them. I saw one this weekend inthe bubble cave just bumbing up against a rock because he was blind. I would volunteer to help if someone could do something. I wonder if that one they helped went on without any further issues?
Hi Al, Long time no see ;-), I did my SSI certification with you at Rogue Scuba in 2004. I am back in The Netherlands but will be traveling to Kuai, Hawaii in july. Do you have any favorite spots to go diving there or a dive company you know there? For an image of me go to Govert van Ginkel - Bridging spaces and you may remember my face! Cheers, Govert
Heck I don't need a photo Govert. Of course I remember you. You were a very easy student and fun to train. I'm sorry but I've never dove on Kauai. I'm sure you'll get some opinions on it here though. I'm glad you kept diving.