Local Ocean Trust-Watamu Turtle Watch — Kenya (2009)
Despite protective international and Kenyan legislation in place since 1977, sea turtles along the Kenyan coastline continue to be extensively exploited for their eggs, meat, and oil, as well as being caught in large numbers as bycatch. LOT-WTW works toward protecting sea turtles through a wide range of programs, including bycatch compensation, nest and hatchling protection, turtle rescue and rehabilitation, and local outreach and education.
A 2009 SWOT Outreach grant supported LOT-WTW’S ongoing education work. This work includes (a) school programs with lectures, visits to the turtle rehabilitation center, arts competitions, and marine science career development; (b) tourist programs with hotel talks, beach cleanups, and turtle release events; and (c) fisher programs with presentations at key ports and the LOT marine education center. Together with educational posters and stickers, SWOT Reports were distributed to activity participants and proved particularly useful in helping LOT-WTW staff members communicate the global scope of sea turtle conservation with local Kenyan communities that have long perceived it as an isolated problem.