Marine Turtle Conservation

A project by: University of Exeter

pledged of £25,000 target
2 years, 3 months ago

Happy New Year to all of our supporters! With your support we recorded a record year for both loggerhead and green turtles. Thank you for helping us save them.

With your help, we managed to support 35 young people from UK, Europe, USA, China, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan on placements in Northern Cyprus. So keen were they, that they were willing to quarantine for a week before beginning their placements. This is roughly half of the overseas volunteers that we would normally recruit, and we supported placements for 40 young Cypriots and international students studying in Cyprus.

While the situation improved from last year in terms of volunteer recruitment, the work was tough, with 1488 nests recorded and protected across the coasts we monitor, an all-time high for our three decades of work. For loggerheads, this is really encouraging, and it seems that both species are now responding well to our annual effort of nest protection.

And it is with your help that we have been able to achieve this population recovery. Given the costs of hotel quarantine and constant testing to keep the team safe, the running costs of six vehicles, two field stations, offices, and a lab, we would not have been able to achieve any of this without additional financial aid during the past two years. And all while continuing to build capacity and achieve targets in our projects to reduce fisheries bycatch, monitor and protect Mediterranean monk seals, dolphins, other threatened marine species and their habitats.

While increasing nest counts are pleasing, we can't be complacent, because we also recorded over 300 turtles stranded, dead, or injured, and nearly all of them were caught in fishing nets. This highlights the need to continue expanding or work to tackle bycatch through education, policy, advocacy, bycatch reduction technology and Marine Protected Areas. Addressing bycatch is now core to our strategy and in 2021 we provided a fisheries patrol vessel to help regulate fishing, we tracked a further five juvenile green turtles to map out their habitats and we began to roll out bycatch reducing NetLights to key fishing boats.

We therefore thank all of you and encourage you to share the crowdfunder to your social media platforms so that we can reach our target of £20,000 by the end of January.

Thank you!