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Plans for a stand-alone Turtle Conservation Centre are underway!

By Heather Wares
- Press Releases
Plans for new Turtle Conservation Centre

The Two Oceans Aquarium, in partnership with the V&A Waterfront, proudly announced last night that a new stand-alone Turtle Conservation Centre will open its doors in 2026. The state-of-the-art turtle rehabilitation facility will stand proudly on the Cape Town skyline as part of the V&A Waterfront’s Granger Bay precinct improvement project.

“The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation is thrilled to share this news with our ocean-loving community” said Ann Lamont, Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation Executive Chairperson. “Our new Turtle Conservation Centre, scheduled to open in late 2026, will allow us to expand our existing turtle conservation work by bringing under one roof turtle education, research, conservation, veterinary science and tourism” continued Lamont. “More importantly, members of the public will now have the opportunity to see first-hand the work we do with turtles as this currently takes place behind the scenes at the Two Oceans Aquarium”.

A first of this scale in Africa, the new Turtle Conservation Centre will include a turtle rehabilitation hospital, education facilities, ample space for exhibition displays, a restaurant and a shop.

“The new facility will be multifunctional and accessible to South Africans and international tourists alike and will showcase various species of turtles in our care. It will provide us with the opportunity to share information about turtles and the marine ecosystems they call home, to demonstrate the care and attention needed to nurse turtles back to health, and to appeal to the public to make changes in their lives which will benefit not only the turtles, but all inhabitants of the ocean” explained Lamont.

Granger Bay is to be the location of the new Turtle Conservation Centre, part of the V&A Waterfront's latest development plan. Image supplied by V&A Waterfront.

“The announcement of the new Turtle Conservation Centre is a dream come true!” said an emotional Talitha Noble-Trull, Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation Turtle Conservation Centre Manager. “While our present facilities at the Aquarium have served us well through many years of turtle rescue, rehabilitation and releases, we have reached capacity as the number of turtles needing rehabilitation and long-term care is increasing year-on-year. Our work with turtles is critical with the impact of climate change and plastic pollution threatening all seven species. We will now have the opportunity to do so much more as we will have the resources to assist with turtle rescues around the entire African coast and not just South Africa”.

Over the last 20 years, the Two Oceans Aquarium has successfully rehabilitated and released over 1 000 turtles back into the ocean. These include the tagging and release of some now famous turtles including Bob the green turtle, and Nobomvu, a loggerhead turtle. Bob survived ingesting plastic pollution while Novombu was a victim of a ghost fishing net and was rescued with severe injuries. While Bob spent eight years in the care of the dedicated turtle team, Novombu was finally released in November 2023 after two years of intensive care. “The reality of a new and expanded centre gives us hope that we can care for many more turtles like Bob and Novombu who have suffered as a result of human activities. We consider turtles as ancient symbols of resilience, guiding us to remember the importance of living in harmony with nature to ensure its well-being for future generations,” said Noble-Trull.

Nobomvu, one of our most famous turtle rehabilitation and release success stories is an example of a large, almost mature turtle harmed by human activities (ghost fishing gear in her case). Turtles of this size are invaluable to their species, and a larger Turtle Conservation Centre will enable to the team to help even more of them. Image credit: Two Oceans Aquarium

Turtles are among the oldest creatures on earth and have remained essentially unchanged for 110 million years. In that time, they have witnessed two major extinction-level events and until now have managed to survive and thrive. However, due to negligent human behaviour, today all seven species of sea turtles are classified either as endangered or as critically endangered.

The announcement of plans for the new Turtle Conservation Centre highlights the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation’s dedication to turtle conservation, education and facilitating human behaviour change for the benefit of marine life and future generations.

Members of the public can follow the Two Oceans Aquarium and Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation on social media for updates on the development of the new Turtle Conservation Centre.

For media queries, please contact us here.

Over 300 rescued hatchlings arrived at the Two Oceans Aquarium for rehabilitation this week - quite a squeeze! We look forward to opening this larger and better-equipped facility, which will enable the team to accomplish much, much more! Image credit: Two Oceans Aquarium

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