Honu Huddle: Turtles Gather in Kahului
By Maui Now Staff
At around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, an estimated 75 green sea turtles were observed near the Maui Electric Co Ltd Kahului Generating Station in Central Maui.
Wailuku resident and employee of The Nature Conservancy, Alison Cohan snapped this photo saying she’s never seen anything quite like it.
“There were at least 75 turtles in a very small area, buried on top of each other sometimes at least three turtles deep,” said Cohan.
Those familiar with the area say it happens more often than some are aware.
After we posted the photo on our Maui Now Facebook page, Maui resident and Marine Resource Council Advisor Iokepa Naeole wrote:
“They’ve been huddling there for as long as I can remember. It’s simple. The power plant uses seawater, drawn through an intake to cool the generator. The warm water is then flushed back out into the ocean right where we see all the honu. The algae goes off right in that spot. I’m just not sure whether it’s really the algae that draws them in to feed, or if it’s the warmed water that they enjoy. Maybe it’s both. A spa and buffet package.”
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