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Seven Grants Awarded for Sea Turtle Conservation

By Brian Hutchinson

Oceanic Society is delighted to announce seven small grants awarded to sea turtle conservation projects in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, Peru, Maldives, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the United States. The grants were made as part of our global State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program, which has hosted an annual small grants competition since 2006. In total, 58 grants have been awarded to 49 sea turtle research and conservation projects in more than 40 countries.

2014 grant recipients from Pro Fauna Baja in Baja California, Mexico.

The 2015 Grant Recipients Are:

  1. Marinelife Alliance (Bangladesh) for education and outreach efforts targeting local communities and tourists in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh, home to one of the world's most threatened sea turtle populations (of olive ridley turtles).
  2. Instituto Marcos Daniel (Brazil) for research to evaluate the presence and impacts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in wild juvenile green and hawksbill turtles from three feeding areas in Brazil (Vitória, Abrolhos National Park, and Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve).
  3. Wildlife Division, Forestry Commission (Ghana) to train fishermen and community members in 10 communities near the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar site in the proper handling and safe release of sea turtles that are accidentally captured in fishing nets, and to develop a volunteer network for sea turtle monitoring.
  4. ecOceánica (Peru) for efforts to raise awareness about the presence of nesting sea turtles in northern Peru among coastal hotels, tourists, and residents, and to garner support for sea turtle conservation through the creation of a citizen science network.
  5. The Olive Ridley Project (Maldives) to reduce sea turtle entanglement and mortality in ghost fishing gear and marine debris in the northern Indian Ocean through education and training of coastal community members in marine debris identification, removal, and disposal.
  6. Programa Tatô, ATM MARAPA (São Tomé and Príncipe) for research to identify key nesting and foraging grounds of Critically Endangered hawksbill turtles in São Tomé Island for improved monitoring and protection.
  7. ProTECTOR, Inc (USA) for efforts to advance photo-identification techniques for sea turtle research through a collaborative workshop at the 36th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation.

A 2015 grant will help advance sea turtle photo identification techniques. © ProTECTOR

Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and thank you to all whom applied. We look forward to reporting on the grantees' progress in the next volume of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Report in March 2016.

Learn more about the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program and read about all of the projects that have been previously funded at www.seaturtlestatus.org.

Author

Brian Hutchinson is Oceanic Society's director of outreach, co-founder of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program, and program officer of the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Brian holds a B.A. in zoology from Connecticut College, and has been working to advance global marine conservation for more than a decade.