When we talk about fishing we tend to think about fish in the ocean as ‘seafood’ rather than ‘wildlife’. This way of thinking creates a deeply rooted disconnect with nature. As a result, we look at the ocean as a resource rather than an important part of a healthy ecosystem. For fishing to ever be sustainable, we need to change this way of thinking and start to understand how the ocean is connected to our everyday lives.
Gaadhoo island in Laamu Atoll is the most significant nesting beach in the Maldives. In 1984, it was estimated that 5-10 nests were laid per night on Gaadhoo. Nesting has now declined by 40%. Gaadhoo’s nesting turtles are key in ensuring the survival of the population of green sea turtles in the Maldives. Gaadhoo is also a haven for many other species, such as migratory birds and juvenile fish.
It’s a lucky few that witness a sea turtle’s first foray into the world. Seeing sea turtles make their way into the ocean is an unforgettable and magical experience. However, sea turtle hatchlings have a famously tricky start to life. Here we shed some light on the difficulties new born turtles face, and the best practices to follow when witnessing a sea turtle hatching experience.
On a recent visit to Astola Island in Pakistan, ORP recorded more than 800 green turtle nests on the north beach of the island. Sadly, the beach and surrounding waters were also littered with ghost nets. These ghost nets pose great entanglement risk to nesting mother turtles and hatchlings scrambling to the the sea, something we saw firsthand. Astola Island is Pakistan’s first Marine Protected Area.
Sea turtles inhabit all the oceans of the world except the Arctic, and have a broad range of habitats and diets. Each species has uniquely evolved to different environments and available food. Some are nomadic marathon swimmers and others call coral reefs their home. There are seven species of sea turtles found globally. So, who eats what and what does a sea turtle diet consist of?
Sometimes nature doesn’t always get everything right! The ORP team at Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu recently discovered a green sea turtle hatchling with a very unusual abnormality during a routine excavation of a hatched turtle nest: a two-headed hatchling. The hatchling had sadly died within its egg and never hatched, but that didn’t stop it from giving us all a huge surprise. The experience also served as an interesting reminder of the intrigues of the natural world.
This time the Turtle Book Club focuses on books about turtle conservation. With six out of seven species of sea turtles threatened with extinction, conservation is a key aspect of sea turtle science. These books include stories from the roots of sea turtle conservation in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and also in the Indian Ocean. As turtles are only one part of the global ecosystem, we also encourage a closer look into the philosophical background around all of conservation.
In this edition of the ORP Turtle Book Club we feature books for readers with a specific interest in the science surrounding turtles and their biology. Looking for a good book on sea turtle biology for a presentation at school? Working on a paper for comparative anatomy at uni? Wolfing down all the literature you can find surrounding your favourite animals? We have some great turtle science book recommendations for you!
In this week’s Turtle Book Club we move on from children’s books to turtle stories aimed at an older audience. In these various works of prose, the authors invite readers on a trip around the world through developments in sea turtle science, a true crime story (involving turtles), turtle-centric holidays, and a young boy’s life journey.
This edition of turtle book club is aimed at the youngest turtle fans and their parents. All the books recommended are short, large format and mainly picture books which are ideal for very young kids to read to, for early learners or avid young readers. They contain engaging stories from different sea turtles and show their life’s and different environments. We hope you will enjoy these reads together with your kids!