Local conservation bodies team up

―Rescue stranded sea turtle, return it to natural habitat

Georgetown, Guyana – February 26, 2020

Several agencies and organisations working in the interest of protecting and safeguarding Guyana’s national patrimony recently combined efforts to rescue one of Guyana’s four marine turtle species.

On February 18, it was reported that a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was caught by a few enthusiastic fisherfolks in the vicinity of the Kitty Seawall. The marine creature which was trapped in a fishing net was subsequently rescued by Sean Gonsalves, an animal rights protector who immediately contacted the relevant agencies.

The government agencies with responsibility for monitoring sea turtles, The Guyana Wildlife Conservation Management Commission (GWCMC) and the Protected Areas Commission (PAC), teamed up with the WWF- Guianas, Guyana Marine Conservation Society (GMCS), University of Guyana and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard Unit to ensure the animal was rescued and released safely.

The turtle was examined for injuries and a measurement of the carapace (shell) length was taken, where it was measured at 62.23 cm. The turtle was then tagged for identification purposes and released approximately 2km off the Kitty Seawall away from fishing nets.

The agencies expressed satisfaction that the turtle was neither harmed nor killed and that with the fact they were contacted to address the matter. This is encouraging and indicates that Guyana and Guyanese are becoming aware of the importance of guarding not only our protected areas but the country’s wildlife resources. This incident we hope will be a motivation to other citizens to help us lookout for our wildlife as we all aim to ensure that our national patrimony is preserved for generations to come.

The WCMC and the PAC are also extremely thankful for the longstanding support of WWF-Guianas and GMCS in providing financial and technical support to better monitor marine turtles in Guyana.

The incidence of turtles being trapped in fishing nets will increase during this time of year since the turtle nesting season commenced in early February until August. Therefore, fishermen and the general public are urged to be on the lookout during this period and to report any sighting of marine turtles. Persons encountering marine turtles are asked to kindly call the following agencies:

The Protected Areas Commission: 227-2265, 685-0933;

Guyana Wildlife Conservation & Management Commission: 223-0940;

WWF-Guianas 223-7802, 610-7182

Guyana Marine Conservation Society: 600-7272