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Regional Sea Turtle Meeting

Monday, March 15 – The status of the Virgin Islands Sea Turtle Conservation programme was the essence of a presentation made by Mr. Joel Dore of Conservation and Fisheries Department during the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network’s (WIDECAST) annual meeting in Martinique.

Mr. Dore in his presentation to regional counterparts and industry experts spoke of the sea turtle population in the Territory namely the Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles. His presentation also included information on the number of captured, recaptured and tagged turtles, listed turtle death totals and highlighted future plans for the local turtle programme.

Mr. Dore was grateful for the opportunity given to share methods used in the Territory and equally thankful for the learning opportunities presented by regional counterparts.

Addressing perspectives gained from the training Mr. Dore said he was exposed to “innovative ways to analyze turtle growth rate and population status data, studied feeding and migration patterns of tagged turtles in other territories and devised new ways to record data to study turtle behaviour.”

Training was also conducted on beach profiling and beach monitoring methods, potential impact of climate change on Caribbean sea turtles and their habitats, and adaptation measures into ongoing conservation work.

WIDECAST is an expert network of biologists, managers, community leaders and educators who are committed to an integrated, regional capacity that ensures the recovery and sustainable management of depleted sea turtle populations.

At the meeting, updates from each country’s sea turtle programmes were shared, networking capabilities were strengthened and attendees gained perspectives on other practices used in neighbouring territories.

As found on their website, WIDECAST seeks to bring the best available science to legislation and policy, education, training and outreach and conservation and advocacy work. It is the aim of the Conservation and Fisheries Department to forge relationships with regional bodies to ensure the sustainability of the regional sea turtle population.

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For more on BVI sea turtle tracking, see http://www.bviguides.com/Domains/bviyachtguide/featured_article/editorial/marine_conservation.html

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