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The hook in Kernel’s esophagus prior to removal.

After more than three months of treatment for swallowing a fishhook, Kernel the juvenile green sea turtle went home last night! Following surgery to remove the hook, staff and volunteers nursed Kernel back to health with antibiotics, fluids and nutritional support.

Accidents happen, and you will not get in any legal trouble if you inadvertently catch a sea turtle. If possible, don’t cut the line, and use a net (many piers have nets available for this purpose) to safely guide the sea turtle to shore or onto your boat; do not reel it in as this could deepen the wound. Contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 1-888-404-FWCC for instructions regarding how to aid the animal.

The couple that hooked Kernel back in January contacted FWC immediately, and this decision quite possibly saved Kernel’s life!

If you need to dispose of an old hook that’s no longer of use, keep it out of the ocean by wrapping it in several layers of paper, then placing it in the garbage.