The Maui Ocean Center has released four Hawaiian green sea turtles into the ocean.
Luana, Holokai, Kapene, and Nanahea were hatched at Sea Life Park Hawaii in 2016, then transferred to Maui Ocean Center where they were part of the aquarium’s educational program to teach guests about Hawaii’s sea turtles.
The group was released Thursday from a catamaran off Maalaea.
In the U.S., sea turtles are listed as an endangered species, but their population has been increasing because of protection by federal law, according to the aquarium’s website.
Since 1998, Sea Life Park Hawaii and Maui Ocean Center have worked together to raise and release 78 Hawaiian green sea turtles, the aquarium said.
On Thursday, the turtles received a departing protocol by Kahu Dane Maxwell, the center’s Hawaiian cultural director, and were released with transponder tags as well as the letters “MOC” and an identification letter on their shells.
The public is asked to report any sightings of the turtles along with the date, time, ID letter and location. Sightings can be reported by calling 808-270-7075, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or messaging the aquarium through social media.