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Seychelles' turtle nesting season "going well"- no reports of poaching 

Victoria, Seychelles | February 27, 2024, Tuesday @ 17:08 in Environment » CONSERVATION | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4899
Seychelles' turtle nesting season "going well"- no reports of poaching 

MCSS said that monitoring of sea turtle nesting activities is going well. (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) 

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The turtle nesting season in Seychelles is going well and there have been no records of confirmed poaching incidents to date for the hawksbill turtle, said a top environmental officer.  

The director of the Biodiversity Conservation Section at the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Ashley Dias, said, "The nesting season is from October up until March and April, and so far, it's going well, there are no records confirming poaching, but there were signs that indicated possible poaching. However, this is difficult to prove due to the lack of evidence."

She told SNA that to improve coordination and enforcement, there is a project being developed in collaboration with other local authorities such as the Seychelles Coast Guard, the Police, and the Seychelles Fishing Authority to set up an enforcement task force.

"This will improve monitoring both at key nesting beaches as well as at sea because sometimes poachers hunt them at sea. The Department of Environment will lead the task force. We expect to finalise the formalities by the end of this quarter," said Dias.

Apart from the monitoring work, the Conservation Department also sensitises the public about this subject and there have been in the past volunteer programmes.

"The volunteer programme for sea turtles was not done this year, we plan to re-launch it around mid-August to September. But we have other activities as well, such as presentations in schools as well as internship opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students," said Dias.

She added that the key collaboration the department has is with non-profit non-governmental environmental organisations (NGOs), especially for monitoring.

The 2023-2024 nesting season is coming to an end but the hatching season may go until the end of April. (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved

SNA spoke to the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS).

The sea turtle project leader, Vanessa Didon, said, "The monitoring of sea turtle nesting activities are going well. MCSS monitors the nesting beaches at least three times a week. The 2023-2024 nesting season is coming to an end but the hatching season may go until the end of April."

She added "In Takamaka, in the south Mahe is where the main nesting beaches are. These beaches are less frequented and the nesting turtles are thus less disturbed."

She emphasised the work that MCSS does to engage and inform children about the importance of conservation especially for the sea turtle population.

"We normally organise activities like presentations at schools, but most often we get school groups joining us on the nesting beaches, we explain our work and how we monitor for sea turtle nesting activities, show them examples of nests, tracks and if they are lucky, they can encounter either a female hawksbill turtle nesting or hatchlings. They can thus engage in the monitoring by helping to identify tracks, measure track width, and so on. We also explain the importance of good nesting habitats and get them to help in planting new coastal plants and doing beach clean-ups," she shared.

Didon added that MCSS "works in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment. We report activities like poaching incidents to the Greenline. We also produce a seasonal report which is shared with them to fully inform them about the nesting season activities." 

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Tags: Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, Biodiversity Conservation Section

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