The Turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release at the Two Oceans Aquarium

The Two Oceans Aquarium has welcomed the support of its turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release programme by the John Dory’s restaurant chain.


John Dory’s will specifically contribute to a special-needs loggerhead turtle named Phiko and has made a financial contribution towards the turtle’s extensive rehabilitation process.

Each year, the Two Oceans Aquarium rescues, rehabilitates and releases a number of sea turtles. These turtles are found on Western Cape beaches and brought to the Aquarium by concerned members of the public. 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.

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. The tiny turtle was unable to use two of its flippers properly. A decision was made to keep the turtle at the Aquarium for rehabilitation until such time as it had gained proper use of its flippers. During his rehabilitation Phiko received extensive treatment, including an MRI scan, daily physio therapy 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.

“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”, said Donna Meiring, Brand Manager for John Dory’s.

John Dory’s has also supported the Aquarium’s Trash Bash initiative 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.

“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”, said Maryke Musson, Curator of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

For more information about the Two Oceans Aquarium turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release programme, please see

Sources: Two Oceans
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