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Marine Pollution Bulletin - Malagasy turtle success

0808-marine-pollution-bulletin_page_1_smThe first hatching of Green Turtles recorded as a direct result of efforts to protect the species in southwest Madagascar has occurred.

 

0808-marine-pollution-bulletin_page_1_smThe first hatching of Green Turtles recorded as a direct result of efforts to protect the species in southwest Madagascar has occurred. This marks the success of a campaign by the NGO Blue Ventures. The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) is found in the waters off southwest Madagascar, but adults are targeted by fishermen and nests are usually raided. The beach’s guardian, resident Sosy Kadioke said: ‘‘It was the first time people had ever seen baby turtles.” Residents of the remote village of Lamboara have now voted to protect surrounding beaches, outlawing turtle nest raiding and targeted turtle fishing, to protect turtle nests along a 50 km stretch of coastline. The campaign co-ordinator, Charlotte Gough said: ‘‘When one village chooses to do something, others follow. Village presidents from elsewhere are already showing an interest in the turtle project.” This work is part of a broader Blue Ventures programme in southwest Madagascar, which includes the creation of Madagascar’s first community-based marine protected area network, an initiative being used as a blueprint for the creation of 50 further marine reserves in the country, part of an African Development Bank-funded marine conservation programme. Last year Blue Ventures’ work in the region received the United Nations Development Programme’s prestigious Equator Prize for efforts to conserve local biodiversity and alleviate poverty.

Charles Sheppard