Nevis Students Learn About Sea Turtle Conservation

CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 14, 2006) — At the end of three sea turtle camps at the Four Seasons Resort, the first of  which concludes later today, at least 55 students would become honorary members of  the Nevis Turtle Group and would contribute to the conservation of sea turtles which nest on Nevis.Lemwell Pemberton, Fisheries officer of the Fisheries Department on Nevis who heads the group and country coordinator for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation WIDECAST, an affiliate group of Duke University, told Government Information Service on Friday ahead of the close of the first camp, that he was hopeful the participants would pass on what they had learnt to their family and to their classmates, “so the knowledge and information on sea turtle conservation can be spread throughout the community,” he said adding, “hopefully there can be a positive spin off from this not only on the conservation of sea turtles but on conservation generally.”

The camp which was designed for students between the ages of 9-15 and runs three days a week from 9-12pm, received sponsorship from the Fisheries Department and the Four Seasons Resort. It commenced with 15 participants but according to Mr Pemberton the response had been overwhelming and therefore the remaining two camps would be extended to accommodate 20 students each.

The key facilitators for the Camp are Misses Peri Mason of WIDECAST and Alicia Marin a Masters student at Duke University and will remain on Nevis till mid August to continue with research on turtles nesting on the island.

According to Ms Mason who is based in Antigua with the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project, WIDECAST is an organisation dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles throughout the Caribbean region.

“The objective is to work together be able to communicate between islands because sea turtles are highly migratory spices they spend time in one island at one life stage and on another island in another life stage and so enhance the protection of the sea turtle spices in the region by communicating and also involving ourselves in educational efforts and shearing research. It is all about sharing it is a whole network concept with the ultimate goal of humans and sea turtles living together in balance,” she said.

Ms Marin explained that her three month visit to Nevis was to do her Masters research on turtles and to look at the Sea Turtle Action Plan which was written for St Kitts and Nevis in 1992, assess it and to see what had been done and what needed to be done.

“After a brief look at that [the plan] when I first came here, I decided that I would like to focus on education as well as finding out where the spices of turtles are nesting and on what beaches. We know that Lovers Beach has the most activity right now and we want to know what other beaches also have activity and one of my other passions is just teaching children and that’s one of the reasons why we are here today is teaching Sea Turtle Camp,” she said.

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