A SEA turtle entangled in a fishing net off the Costa Blanca has been rescued by police.
A local resident, who had been sailing in the waters of Aguilas, sounded the alarm on sighting the large turtle hooked up to some nets.
Guardia Civil footage shows the sea turtle fighting to survive after becoming snared by the net.
Agents from the Special Group for Underwater Activities (GEAS) swiftly arrived at the scene after receiving the alert and can be seen meticulously working to untangle the troubled turtle.
Images show the officers carefully holding the creature half-in and half-out of the water.
After a few moments of tension, the animal, whose head, arms, legs and shell had been completely wrapped in netting, was freed.
Fortunately the turtle was not hurt and was able to continue its journey at sea once released from the netting.
The incident occurred just days prior to Oceanografic in Valencia released its 500th turtle, which was rescued after swallowing plastic.
The release yesterday, coincided with World Oceans Day, was in the Area of Recovery and Conservation of Marine Fauna (ARCA del Mar).
The turtle entered ARCA del Mar in November 2019 after a fishing boat in Perello-Cullera caught the animal accidentally with a trammel.
The turtle showed signs of notable plastic intake plus the string of a helium balloon of about 50 centimetres.
It also had a piece of fish lodged in its dorsal area and a serious fracture in the shell, possibly caused by a collision with a boat.
After seven months of veterinary care in which it underwent various treatment, the turtle was returned to the sea, on the beach of El Saler de Valencia.
In an official statement from ARCA del Mar said the incident ‘crudely exemplifies’ the human impact sea turtles face in the Mediterranean.
According to the foundation, the turtle returns with ‘all the guarantees’ for its incorporation into the natural environment.
It has been marked with an identifying microchip so that, in the event of being caught again, anywhere on the planet, Oceanografico can be contacted.
Another turtle was also found in 2019, unable to dive due to plastic bottles being attached to its body.
According to Spain’s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), over 4,000 crimes against the environment were investigated in 2019.
The report, published on World Environment Day, reveals that animal abuse is on the rise, and that there were twice as many forest fires as the previous year.