Cayman Islands breeding farm to release 150 turtles
Adult green sea turtles slowly wade into the Gulf of Mexico after their release at Cape San Blas, Fla., on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/The News-Herald, Terry Barner)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, November 10, 2012 2:13PM EST
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- A turtle breeding farm in the Cayman Islands plans to release 150 green sea turtles into the wild amid pressure from animal rights groups.
Sunday's planned release comes as the Florida-based Sea Turtle Conservancy and the London-headquartered World Society for the Protection of Animals urge the Cayman Turtle Farm to stop farming turtles and focus on conservation. Earlier this year, 299 juvenile turtles died at the farm after a water line broke.
Last year, the government-funded farm released 40 yearlings, with more than 31,000 released overall since 1968 The farm has agreed to be independently evaluated in December.
Critics oppose releasing farmed turtles because they could pass on diseases to animals in the wild, but farm officials have said they check all turtles and release only the healthy ones.