The National Trust and the Dept. of Fisheries team up to conserve turtles
The 8the In October 2021, the Department of Fisheries in collaboration with the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) organized training on turtle conservation. The training was undertaken as part of a COVID-19 rapid response project titled “Continued monitoring, maintenance and operation of the Pointe Sables Environmental Protection Zone (PSEPA) and Pigeon Island National Monument (PINL) affected by COVID-19 ”. The project is funded by the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the BIOPAMA program. The main objective of the project is to improve the capacity of the SLNT to manage and monitor the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) and the Pigeon Island National Site (PINL) in order to support conservation initiatives of the biodiversity and reduce unsustainable practices in the two protected areas.
The training session took place at the SLNT South Office at the Maria Island Interpretation Center in Vieux Fort. Participants in this training included guards from SLNT, PSEPA and PINL, as well as management. This training session provided participants with information on how to identify various species of sea turtles, their nesting behavior, and how to help a turtle in distress. Participants also learned how to tag turtles and collect turtle monitoring data.
Ms. Jeannine Compton-Antoine, Director of Corporate Services at SLNT, explained that the conservation of our sea turtles is essential to maintaining the health of our oceans because, among other roles, sea turtles play an essential role in the maintaining the productivity of coral reef ecosystems and contributing to beach nourishment and the creation of sand dunes.
The session’s lead trainer, Ms. Yvonne Edwin, Fisheries Officer in the Fisheries Department, said the Department is working on resuming turtle tagging as one of the strategies to improve turtle monitoring efforts in Sainte -Lucie, because turtle tagging is one of the effective tools used in marine turtle monitoring programs.
SLNT intends to continue working with the Department of Fisheries to expand its contribution to the turtle conservation program in Saint Lucia through, among other things, improved monitoring, data collection and education. of the public in the PSEPA and the PINL.