MOC Marine Institute (MOCMI) responds to reports, rescues, and rehabilitates sick and injured sea turtles on the island of Maui, HI. Before releasing a sea turtle patient, MOCMI staff biologists insert PIT tags into the turtle’s hind flippers and etch a mototool tag on the patient’s carapace.
Report Tagged Sea Turtles
Help us collect data on our sea turtle patients by reporting your sightings of tagged turtles in Maui.
Your sightings help us to see how the patient is doing post-release and gain an understanding of green turtle foraging habitats, migration, and distribution.
Mahalo for your help!
Passive Integrative Transporter (PIT) tags, similar to the microchips used in dogs or cats, are inserted under the skin of the turtle’s hind flippers. PIT tags are about the size of a grain of rice and can be detected by a scanner. The main benefit of PIT tags is that they are nearly permanent; however, one must have the appropriate scanner to read them.
To mototool tag, MOC Marine Institute biologists use a Dremel to safely etch the shell with the initials of the island and the number of the stranding case that year (for example, MA for Maui and 05 for the fifth turtle stranding case in 2020). The groove is then filled with white paint that is harmless to the turtle but makes it easier for future observers to view the turtle’s number without disturbing it. These numbers will typically last up to a year, depending on the turtle’s growth rate.
Mahalo for your help. If you have any questions, please email Mikaela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOC Marine Institute works in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries. All sea turtle response, rehabilitation, and tagging authorized under NOAA Permit: 21260.