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7 Grants Awarded for Sea Turtle Conservation Worldwide

By Brian Hutchinson

We are pleased to announce seven small grants awarded by Oceanic Society to sea turtle conservation projects in Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Grenada, Madagascar, the Philippines, and Senegal. 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, 65 grants have been awarded to 56 sea turtle research and conservation projects in more than 47 countries.

A grant to Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network will support work with hotel and resort properties near sea turtle nesting beaches. © Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

The 2016 SWOT Grant recipients are:

  1. Association Camérounaise de Biologie Marine (ACBM) / Rastoma (Cameroon) for efforts to monitor sea turtle nesting beaches in southern Cameroon to fill data gaps and support the creation of protected areas.
  2. Fundação Maio Biodiversidade (Cape Verde) for programs to engage and train local community members in the monitoring and protection of six important loggerhead turtle nesting beaches on Maio Island, Cape Verde.
  3. Wildseas (Ghana) for expansion of the Safe Release program among fishermen and boat owners in western Ghana with the goal to reduce the impacts of fisheries bycatch to sea turtles in the Gulf of Guinea.
  4. Ocean Spirits (Grenada) for the Sea Turtle Junior Rangers program that works to create youth empowerment by teaching environmental stewardship and conservation importance to children ages 11–13 near Grenada's most important leatherback nesting beach.
  5. Association CEDTM - Kélonia (Madagascar) for efforts to save the last loggerhead turtle nesting beaches in Madagascar by building local capacity to implement a lasting conservation plan in Taolagnaro, Anosy Region on the southeast coast of Madagascar.
  6. Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (Philippines) for the launch of the Sea Turtle Friendly™ tourism program among hotels and resorts in sea turtle nesting areas of Palawan, Philippines.
  7. African Chelonian Institute (Senegal) for research to assess the high bycatch mortality / strandings of green, loggerhead, olive ridley, and leatherback turtles on northern Senegalese beaches, and to work with fisheries authorities to develop and implement solutions.

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 April 2017.

A grant to CEDTM-Kelonia will support conservation efforts at Anosy, one of the last remaining loggerhead nesting beaches in Madagascar. © Jéremie Bossert

You can learn more about the State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT) Program and read about all of the projects that have been previously funded at http://seaturtlestatus.org.

Author

Brian Hutchinson is Oceanic Society's vice president 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.