29-08-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
Did you know that the tortoise, like man, can be recognised because it has a face that is uniquely its own?
The forehead, the fold of the mouth, the size and inclination of the eyes.
Every tortoise has its own face and thanks to this particularity it is easily recognised.
Two 'mug shots', one from the front and one from the side, and the Kenyan sea turtles become part of a family to be known, followed, protected and, if necessary, cared for.
This happens in two unique centres on the entire African Indian Ocean coast, in Watamu and Diani, under the auspices of Local Ocean Conservation and Diani Turtle Watch.
Here, in consultation with the Kenya Wildlife Service and in partnership with other foundations and a few clever tourist facilities, special attention is paid to the relocation of eggs laid by the endangered green turtles. One of the reasons for the extinction is due to the construction of architectural barriers, walls on the beaches, which do not allow the sea turtles to go and lay their eggs away from the dangers of the tide and other sea inhabitants who might eat them. Turtles are also threatened by man, who eats the eggs, their meat and the high-protein broth produced by boiling them.
But that's not all, other dangers can come from fishing with nets, which often imprisons them, and in a tourist resort also from pollution, from the microplastics they unwittingly eat, and from external elements that are no less dangerous.
At Diani Beach, for example, we hire skyjets, jet skis," explains Luciana Parazzi, who created Diani Turtle Watch out of a spin-off from Watamu's Local Ocean Conservation, run by her sister-in-law Niki, "which, according to the rules, are supposed to fly well away from the shore. But this doesn't happen, and our centre often receives sea turtles with serious or even fatal injuries caused by the jet skis themselves".
As far as relocation is concerned, Diani Turtle Watch, thanks to the resort "The Sands at Nomad", has set up two areas where the turtles' eggs, reported by volunteers who follow their laying, are put in a safe place. But much of the centre's work is dedicated to educating schoolchildren and working with those who live and work between the beach and the sea, such as fishermen and beach operators. But we talk about this in the video below, filmed directly at the Marine Education Center of the Diani Turtle Watch.
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