A Turtle Release During the m/s Paul Gauguin’s Australs & Society Islands Voyage


A Turtle Release During the m/s Paul Gauguin’s Australs & Society Islands Voyage

November 13, 2013

On our recent Australs & Society Islands voyage, a turtle release was conducted in the waters off Moorea outside Cook’s Bay. The event was led by Cécile Gaspar, president of Te Mana O Te Moana, and Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society, with the help of the m/s Paul Gauguin’s Captain Mirkovic and one of the ship’s Zodiacs®.

Cécile Gaspar and Jean-Michel Cousteau on the Zodiac® cruising to the site of the turtle release.

Te Mana O Te Moana is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation, education, research, and the protection of marine wildlife—particularly the green sea turtle. Ocean Futures Society’s mission is to explore the world’s oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean’s vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet.


French Veterinarian Intern Soai, Turtle Clinic Volunteer Lara, Cécile Gaspar, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Captain Mirkovic.

On this special day, Sammy, a juvenile hawksbill sea turtle, was released after being rehabilitated at The Sea Turtles Clinic in Moorea. Since it opened in February 2004 at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa, the clinic has received more than 300 turtles. The clinic was created with the financial support of the Ministry for the Environment and is part of the sea turtles protection program of French Polynesia.

Sammy is the 131st turtle rehabilitated at the clinic. Wounded in the neck, Sammy was found on Moorea by six teenagers from Moorea’s College during their surf session. After five months of care at the clinic, Sammy is ready to be released back into the ocean.

Documenting the turtle release was TV journalist Jenny Briffa and her crew with national French TV France 2.  Click here to view the TV segment.


Cécile Gaspar says goodbye to Sammy while Jean-Michel Cousteau gets ready to release the turtle back into the waters off Moorea.


Click here to view a video of a previous turtle release that Paul Gauguin Cruises assisted with.

For more information on Te Mana O Te Moana, please visit www.temanaotemoana.org, and for more information on Ocean Future’s Society, please visit www.oceanfutures.org.