Protecting endangered sea turtles in Watamu coastline

The Local Ocean Conservation team checking the condition of a rescued turtle in Watamu. PHOTO | JAN FOX

What you need to know:

  • I was with Kahindi Changawa and his team from the Local Ocean Conservation (LOC), a private, not-for-profit organisation committed to the protection of Kenya’s marine environment.
  • Hundreds of turtles are rescued every year through LOC’s bycatch release programme, and in April they rescued their 17,000th turtle.
  • Kahindi lifted the turtle out of the bucket and placed it gently into a harness to be weighed. It was then measured, photographed and tagged, and assessed to be healthy enough for immediate release.

A young Hawksbill turtle was presented to us in an old green bucket, by a group of fishermen in the north of Watamu. The turtle had been caught up in their net as “bycatch”— when non-target species are accidentally captured in fishing gear.

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