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Kelly Tarlton's Marine Wildlife Trust

Dedicated to help rehabilitate stranded Sea Turtles, support regenarative projects that increase the biodiversity of the Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana, inspiring, motivating and educating others to do the same.

What is Kelly Tarlton's Marine Wildlife Trust?

We are a regional not-for-profit organisation dedicated to help rehabilitate Sea Turtles that come into our care. To protect the biodiversity of Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana Te Moananui ā Toi and to inspire, motivate and educate others to do the same.


The Kelly Tarlton's Marine Wildlife Trust aims to carry on Kelly's legacy of caring for, and creating love for the oceans. We hope to achieve this through a combination of hands-on initiatives, as well as education programs set to inspire the youth of today.

Championing Turtle Rehabilitation

Animal rescue and rehabilitation is a lengthy and expensive exercise. Annually SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's has approximately six marine turtles brought into the facility for rehabilitation, of which at lease two thirds are successfully rehabilitated. Each turtle costs approximately $10,000 to rehabilitate. 


Funds raised by the Kelly Tarlton's Marine Wildlife Trust will support rehabilitation programmes including vet visits, transportation costs and also enable valuable scientific researches such as satellite tracking devices and tagging before release. 

Ocean Youth Turtle Release 3

Ocean Youth

Ocean Youth is our latest education initiative.  It's a year-long conservation education program engaging young people in the community. From releasing rehabilitated sea turtles to skills-building sessions and nature-based experiences, we are helping to develop young leaders for positive environmental change.

About Ocean Youth

Meet our team

Craig Thorburn

Craig Thorburn

Growing up in and around the Hauraki Gulf, sailing , fishing and diving inspired Craig to study Marine Science at Auckland University. Starting at Kelly Tarlton’s as a volunteer diver in 1985 he spent the next 13 years with Kelly’s before moving to Melbourne for the build of Melbourne Aquarium in 1999.

Since that time Craig has worked as a consultant and also a senior curator for SEA LIFE Aquariums throughout the Asia Pacific region. Returning to a consulting role in 2020 Craig is now focused on helping aquariums and communities get behind strategies and programs that will contribute to growing efforts to restore the marine ecosystem of not only the Hauraki Gulf, but may help coastal communities everywhere to take action.