This set of photographs follow the journey of one very determined Green Sea Turtle hatchling from the nest to the open Indian Ocean.
Last week I came across a sea turtle nest on a remote beach south of Dar es Salaam. A jovial man from the nearby village arrived wearing a t-shirt that read, "sea sense". He explained that the nest was created too low on the beach and the 101 eggs needed to be transported above the high tide line and away from potential disturbances. He also confirmed that a Green Sea Turtle caracas we had seen down the beach was the mother who had been killed for meat shortly after laying her eggs. All species of Sea Turtles are listed as threatened or endangered yet the reality remains for many, meat is meat. This is where Sea Sense steps in by offering income to those who take part in the protection of these animals. As value is found through tourism and other income generating projects, the animals will be valued more living and the biodiversity will expand, ultimately benefitting everyone involved. Sea Sense is also working to protect dugongs, dolphins, whales and whale sharks.
After seeing the efforts to protect one nest I learned that Sea Sense also runs a trip (with Authentic Tanzania) to watch sea turtles hatch. A week later I received an email saying, "there is a hatching tomorrow, would you like to sign up?" When we arrived at the remote beach, the hatchlings were ready to go and the journey began.
For those interested, the day trip costs $50 and includes transport, tons of information, snacks and water. For details, check out Sea Sense www.seasense.org
and/or contact Sven at www.authentictanzania.com
. I hope you get a chance to enjoy this brilliant trip and support the conservation of Tanzania's endangered marine species.