Sea Turtle Conservation Project – China (2008)

China’s Hainan Province comprises some 200 islands strewn along the country’s southern coast. The area boasts a successful fishing industry and beautiful, pristine beaches that attract tourists and sea turtles alike. Unfortunately, although business in Hainan has grown, sea turtle populations have declined. With the support of a SWOT Outreach Grant, Dr. Yamin Wang of Shandong University set out to educate visitors and residents about the importance of protecting the region’s sea turtles.

 During the three-month-long campaign, Dr. Wang and his colleagues distributed more than 150 copies of SWOT Report and 1,000 copies of related pamphlets, focusing, in particular, on speaking with fishermen. In addition, the team circulated a petition in Hainan’s capital city of Haikou to draw greater support for conservation activities. The success of the initiative has brought a new level of attention to important local and global issues such as bycatch, poaching, and illegal trade.