All 7 species of sea turtle on the planet today are on the endangered species list, with populations of some reduced by 98%. However, local interventions and mitigation measures have shown to be successful in maintain and restoring populations in many locations around the globe. In this course, participants will learn about sea turtle conservation strategies and participate in locally-run programs aimed to protect and even increase local populations.  Depending on the location, this may include hatchery, head-starting, rehabilitation, and release programs.

sea turtle release

Prerequisites

  • Be at least 12 years of age
  • Be certified as an Adventure Diver (having conducted the Peak Performance Buoyancy, Navigation, and Deep or Multi-level dives).
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an Advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness
  • Complete the Sea Turtle Ecology and Monitoring Course

Standards

  • Learn about the ecology, evolutionary history, and threats to sea turtles
  • Understand the basics objectives and techniques behind sea turtle hatchery and head-starting programs as well as the science and debate about such initiatives
  • Attend a briefing on the local sea turtle program and understand how the program is integrated with the local community
  • Know how to properly handle, care for, and feed sea turtles in hatchery, nursery or rehabilitation programs
  • Know how to monitor sea turtle health and growth

Requirements

  • Attend 1 lecture and 1 practical briefing
  • Take data on sea turtle growth (weight and shell length) if at a nursery or rehabilitation program
  • Perform cleaning, feeding, and maintenance activities as applicable to the local project

Expected course time about 2-3 hours (no dive required)