Litterless launch – Phase V

Rehabilitated loggerhead turtle released in the wild


A loggerhead turtle has been released back into the wild following a period of rehabilitation at Forti San Luċjan. The loggerhead turtle, rescued back in December 2021, was released this morning at Golden Bay after a successful 10-month rehabilitation process.


The 5-year-old turtle had been in the care of the Team Rehabilitation Unit since last December, having been rescued in Gozo. The turtle was found with hooks and ingested nylon, and a swollen flipper due to having been entangled in nylon. It was rescued and cared for by Nature Trust (Malta) – the Wildlife rehabilitation team. An agreement is currently in place between NTM and the Environment and Resources Authority, which provides financial aid for the conservation of protected fauna (excluding birds). Such agreement covers the purchase of medicines, consumables and equipment required for the rehabilitation of injured, sick or stranded fauna as well as, provides finances for veterinary assistance for the care of such specimens during weekends and public holidays.


The turtle, named Net by volunteers, was released in the presence of Environment Minister Miriam Dalli, officials from the Environment and Resources Authority and students from the Young Reporters from the Environment (YRE). The Minister thanked the volunteers who help with the cleaning, medication and feeding of the turtles.


The turtle was also under the medical observation of veterinary surgeon Dr Anthony Gruppetta of St Simon’s Veterinary Practice in Mosta.


The accompanying students are currently taking part in the YRE – Litter Less campaign, run by the Foundation for Environmental Education and Nature Trust Malta. To mark the turtle’s release, educational activities were held for students including a photo scavenger hunt.


An average of 50 marine turtles are rescued every year in the Maltese waters. At the moment, eight other turtles are still undergoing treatment.



Editorial information


The WildLife Rescue Team is a dedicated team of 30 volunteers working on the turtle rehabilitation, all covered by ERA permits to handle protected animals, and are on call on a 24/7 basis. Marine turtles are also protected in the Maltese Islands by ERA.  Nature Trust Wildlife Rescue section microchips all turtles before they are released. This is a normal practice in all rehab centres in the Mediterranean.


Nature Trust Malta thanks the Armed Forces of Malta. The Malta Aquaculture Research Centre, the MTA, ERA, Dr A Grupetta, fishermen, NTM staff, schools and members of the public for their ongoing support. Special thanks goes also to HSBC Malta Foundation and Zero Waste Future for their support to the Litterless campaign.   Thanks goes to the corporate sponsors of NTM Lottoland


YRE ( is a programme designed specifically for students. The main aim is to carry out investigations on local environmental issues and report through investigative reporting and photojournalism.  The goal of YRE is to engage youth in environmental issues.


Over 3.6 million students from more than 6000 schools across the world have participated in the Litter Less Campaign ((  for the past 11 years. The campaign was launched in 2011 and has just entered its fifth phase.  It will be implemented in 7 Eco-Schools and 4 YRE countries until 2025. YRE Malta (young reporters for the environment) is proud to be one of the 4 YRE countries participating. The campaign is a joint initiative between the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the Mars Wrigley Foundation which educates children and youth on the issue of litter and gives them the opportunity to engage their local communities in awareness-raising activities.  The focus for this year’s campaign will be pollution and the effect on the environment.