We are excited to welcome the support of John Dory’s for our sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release project. John Dory’s has chosen to make a financial contribution towards the extensive rehabilitation of Phiko, a loggerhead sea turtle hatchling which arrived at the Two Oceans Aquarium with unique needs and a truly inspiring survival story.

“John Dory’s is committed to demonstrating the brand’s commitment to sustainability leadership with a specific focus on preservation of our oceans and the natural seafood resources. Partnering with the Two Oceans Aquarium was a natural fit for us, as it enhances the work that we do. We’re excited about our support of Phiko and look forward to a long-standing partnership.” – Donna Meiring, John Dory's Brand Manager

Talitha Noble introduces John Dory's Chief Operating Officer Leonard Coetzee to Phiko in the Aquarium's veterinary clinic. 

The Two Oceans Aquarium is actively involved in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of distressed sea turtles. These turtles are found stranded on Western Cape beaches and brought to the Aquarium by concerned members of the public and our extensive Turtle Rescue Network.

Rehabilitation of these turtles can take anywhere between a couple of months to years, depending on the extent of the turtle’s injuries and illness. On average, the rehabilitation cost for a turtle hatchling is R27 per day, but specialised vet care and tests add to this amount - each turtle is treated as a special patient requiring separate attention.

Tiny, but beautiful, turtles like Phiko would have a 0% chance of survival once stranded. Thanks to the contributions of caring people and organisations, like John Dory's, we are able to continue our work of giving these precious animals a second chance at life.

Phiko, the little turtle that John Dory’s has chosen to support, arrived at the Aquarium in June 2017 as a rescued hatchling after he was found stranded in Struisbaai, weighing only 88g. Tiny Phiko was unable to use two of his flippers properly. When the other hatchlings of 2017 were released, the decision was made to keep Phiko at the Aquarium for further rehabilitation until such time as he regained proper use of his flippers. 

When Phiko first arrived back in 2017, he was just known as "Hatchling #31" - little did we all know what a great ocean ambassador Phiko would grow un to become.

During rehabilitation, Phiko received extensive treatment, including an MRI scan, daily physiotherapy (including flipper massages) and custom-made flipper restraints to help him exercise his weak flippers. Phiko’s progress has been slow, but steady and soon he will be fit enough for release back into the ocean.

Phiko's weak flipper prompted extraordinary medical care - even visiting "human hospitals" for MRI scans. Credit: Talitha Noble/Two Oceans Aquarium.

“It is incredibly rewarding working with companies and retailers who truly care about their impact on the environment. John Dory’s has shown their commitment to being eco-responsible through making positive changes in sustainable procurement, partnering with WWF’s SASSI program, eliminating the use of various single-use plastic items from their restaurants and involving staff and customers in beach and river clean-ups. We support their Eco Voyage and we are very appreciative of their support to get the little rescued and rehabilitated turtle, Phiko, back into the ocean to continue with his turtle voyage.” – Maryke Musson, Two Oceans Aquarium Curator

John Dory’s has also supported the Aquarium’s Trash Bash beach cleanup with sponsorship of prizes for the event as well as sending a team of staff to assist with the beach clean-up. The Aquarium is grateful for the support from the restaurant chain and is excited to partner with it on its sustainability journey.

The team from John Dory's meets with Two Oceans Aquarium Conservation Coordinator Talitha Noble and Curator Maryke Musson for an inside look into our turtle rehabilitation efforts, and the backstory about little Phiko.

You can help too! 

We have teamed up with Greg Bertish and the Little Optimist Trust this October to raise funds for various amazing charities around Cape Town and beyond. Greg’s passion goes into helping sick and vulnerable children. Our passion goes into helping sick and vulnerable turtles. That’s why we’ve joined forces to raise funds for both causes, an initiative that will culminate in a wonderful Great Optimist Race happening in the V&A Waterfront marina as part of the Cape Town International Boat Show on 20 October. We are helping sick kids and sick turtles.

If you'd like to help support our other rehab turtles, please do so here.

Donate via GivenGain

The Spur Group Environmental Sustainability Manager Joe Stead meets Phiko face-to-face with Talitha Noble and Two Oceans Aquarium Veterinarian Dr Brandon Spolander.

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