16 June 2012, Madagascar. Blue Ventures and the Vezo fishing communities of western Madagascar will be celebrating World Sea Turtle Day on 16th June with a series events aimed to raise awareness on the plight of marine turtles and the need to protect them.
Five species of marine turtle are found in Madagascar's waters and all are listed as endangered by the IUCN and are protected by Malagasy legislation. However, an active traditional fishery still remains that has become increasingly unsustainable as coastal populations have increased.
To celebrate World Sea Turtle Day, awareness-raising events will take place at three locally-managed marine areas (LMMA) along Madagascar's west coast. Educational radio and television shows will be aired that aim to highlight marine turtle conservation issues to over 20,000 people.
Turtles are still part of a traditional fishery in Madagascar despite being protected and listed as threatened
Marine turtle education will be included in Blue Ventures' youth-centred activities within the Velondriake LMMA. Nearly 200 children between age 6 and 14 will attend Saturday School (weekly hands-on environmental education), where they will learn about the importance of protecting sea turtles using comic books and songs written specifically for the coastal southwest community. In Connecting Classrooms, 60 adolescents (age 12 to 20) will study the importance of sea turtles in the marine ecosystem, and share what they learn with other youth around the globe through ConnectingClassrooms.net. The Club Aloalo youth environmental club (45 adolescents, age 13 and 24) will develop an advocacy statement urging other youth around Velondriake to not eat turtle meat, and to respect the national laws and Dina (local law) against turtle hunting.
These events not only aim to celebrate World Sea Turtle Day but to capitalise on Blue Ventures' awareness-raising marine turtle festival that has now travelled over 600 km to reach 1000s of adults and children along Madagascar's west coast. The festival promotes Vezo pride in their cultural identity and heritage and encourages communities to think about the preservation of their culture for future generations.
The marine turtle festival has travelled all over the west coast of Madagascar
- For more information about Blue Ventures work on turtles please visit our page on endangered speces here: http://blueventures.org/conservation/endangered-species.html
- To read all about Connecting Classrooms and Youth Centred Conservation please use this link: http://blueventures.org/investing-in-people/engaging-youth-in-conservation.html
Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Through our marine expeditions, volunteers from around the world join us on career breaks, student gap years and internships, working closely with our field research teams, in partnership with local communities.
Blue Ventures' projects are focused in environmentally and culturally sensitive regions of the world. All project visitors are required to be aware that we are privileged guests in our host countries, towns and villages. We insist that all team members, acting as ambassadors to Blue Ventures, adapt their behaviour to recognise local cultural sensitivities. We have a responsibility to minimise negative impacts on local environments and communities where we work, as well as to provide tangible benefits to our host communities.
To find out more about Blue Ventures Expeditions visit our volunteer pages on our website.
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