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Fishing line removal

Dr. Glassman uses surgical tools to remove the fishing line wrapped around Finn’s front left flipper.

Staff and volunteers at our Sea Turtle Healing Center are treating Finn, a juvenile green sea turtle found entangled in braided fishing line. They were discovered south of Sebastian Inlet in the Indian River Lagoon by University of Central Florida researchers on December 13.

The netting, which was wrapped around all four flippers and crossed over Finn’s body, caused a deep laceration around and severe inflammation of the front left flipper. One of our veterinarians carefully removed the fishing line and flushed the area to prevent infection. Finn is settling into an outdoor tank while we keep a close eye on the patient’s condition.


fishing line

This is all of the fishing line removed from Finn’s body.

Finn also has several small fibropapilloma tumors in both eyes and on their underside. These growths are benign, but can impede a sea turtle’s ability to see, swim or eat if left untreated. They will be removed at a later date if bloodwork and a CT scan reveal the patient is a healthy candidate for surgery.

If all goes well, Finn will be returned to the ocean after several months with us!

Derelict fishing gear presents one of today’s greatest threats to aquatic life. Remember to stow your equipment before and after use, and place unwanted monofilament line in the bins at local waterfront parks.