aerial image of turtles off raine island

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Thousands of turtles filmed off Raine Island in 2022 nesting season

Thousands of endangered Green Sea Turtles have been spotted off Raine Island, which marks the start of the 2022 turtle nesting season. Watch the incredible video below.

Raine Island is the world’s largest green turtle rookery and each year sees up to 60,000 endangered green turtles flock to its sandy shores to nest. Incredibly, 90% of the reef’s northern green turtle populations come from this island, despite only being 27 hectares in size. This magnificent turtle migration sees green turtles travelling thousands of kilometres back to the exact place that they hatched.

The 2022 turtle nesting season is officially underway, with a tens of thousands of turtles spotted off Raine Island. The incredible footage was captured by Master Reef Guide Pablo Cogollos, who visited the waters around Raine Island on an exclusive 7 day trip down the coast with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions. Although the island itself is not accessible to the public, its surrounding reefs can be explored on this incredible expedition. Mike Ball has expeditions scheduled for 2023.

The footage not only shows the success of the ongoing rehabilitation work on Raine Island, but the incredible health of the reef under the surface.

The sheer number of turtles signifies the success of the recovery project

Raine Island shot to internet fame three years ago, when aerial footage of around 60,000 green sea turtles went viral. Behind the sheer number of green turtles spotted in 2019, and every year since then, are a dedicated team working to protect this species through restoration work on Raine Island.

Since its inception in 2015, the Raine Island Recovery Project has been working hard to restore this important turtle habitat. The project is a unique collaboration between Traditional Owners, science, government and business. Thanks to the Recovery Project, an additional 640,000 turtle hatchings have began their life on the Great Barrier Reef.

The sheer number of turtles spotted this nesting season looks incredibly promising for the future of the species. Sir David Attenborough sums up the importance of Raine Island below:

A marine paradise that plays host to one of the most spectacular ocean migrations on the planet. This is Raine Island.

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