Our 7th consecutive season of marine turtle monitoring and protection started on 15 October.
Six turtle monitors were employed from the community for the duration of the turtle breeding season. Before starting, each monitor received new uniforms and equipment and a refresher course on their roles and responsibilities, sampling methods and data capturing. The monitors all expressed pride in the importance of the work they are doing and specifically that the data they are collecting will be incorporated into the Mozambique National Turtle network.
our turtle monitors
Our Monitors are Ricardo Machave, Afonso Baloi & Aurelio Camba (Machuguele community), and Jose Vilanculos, Jeremias Maswanganhe and Jose Timbe (Chicuinine Community)
We look forward to reporting back on the turtle breeding season in our next newsletter.
a recent ‘turtle’ experienceas related by Charlotte Crosse:
“We had a wonderful experience rescuing a turtle that was trapped in some fishing net on the spit at the mouth. We were going for a walk on the spit at low tide and came across this coincidently. I am not sure if the turtle was caught by the local fisherman or an accidental entrapment in net that was floating in the sea, but would prefer to believe the latter.
Some fisherman saw us and raced towards the beach. By this stage we had already started cutting the turtle loose and offered the fishermen some money if they could help us get the turtle safely into the ocean. It took about an hour to get this heavy turtle into the ocean but we did much to everyone’s pride as is evidence in the photos.”
It looks like a male green turtle in good condition, and it seems that the turtle was caught in a large mesh gillnet probably targeting sharks and set offshore. It could be that the net had broken loose and was drifting when the turtle got caught in it. If the net was indeed washed onto the shore with the turtle then it must have been drifting as they are usually long nets and well anchored. I know there are some shark netting happening approximately 100km south of The Sanctuary, and could have been one of those nets. A wonderful example of constructive homeowner engagement with the community. Marine turtles are protected species, and the killing thereof are considered a serious criminal offence that will result in either massive fines and or imprisonment. The local fishermen are fully aware of these consequences and would have been unlikely to intentionally ensnare a turtle.
Comment from Guillaume: