Weʼre raising £3,000 to fund a marine turtle sanctuary in Indonesia.
- Ashford, UK
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Seven different species of marine turtles grace our ocean waters, from the shallow seagrass beds of the Indian Ocean, to the colorful reefs of the Coral Triangle, and even the sandy beaches of the Eastern Pacific. Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as Endangered.
The lifespan of a sea turtle should mirror humans; they are capable of living 50 to 100 years. Sadly, the greatest threat to their continued existence is us. Turtles are found with illnesses caused by pollution, damaged shells and flippers caused by boats, and washed up dead from eating plastic, hooks and other rubbish dumped in the ocean. Sea turtles are poached. Nesting sites are disturbed, the eggs stolen to be sold as a local delicacy, and entire nests are destroyed.
Indonesia is home to a large area of the coral triangle, the planet's richest area of marine life and coral diversity. Within this area live over 6000 coral species of fish, 76% of the world's coral species, and 6 of the 7 marine turtle species. Indonesia is also the second largest contributor to ocean pollution in the world. It is responsible for 10% of the world's total plastic pollution.
Whilst travelling in Indonesia earlier this year, we were lucky enough to snorkel and dive with some of these beautiful creatures and I absolutely fell in love with them.
The Turtle Sanctuary:
Whilst exploring we met a truly wonderful man named Bulong. He has a small sea turtle sanctuary on the beach consisting of 7 concrete pools each containing turtles of different ages. During the breeding season he patrols the beaches every night watching for nesting mothers. Once the mothers have laid their eggs, he relocates the nests to a small area of sand he has fenced off so he can watch over them until they hatch. A single nest usually contains around 100 eggs! Once hatched he moves the turtles into the pools and cares for them, cleaning the water and feeding them 3 times a day until they are 8 months old. At this point their shells have hardened enough that they are safe from most predators and strong enough to survive on their own. He then releases the turtles into the ocean.
Bulong explained that he had been running the sanctuary for nearly 15 years and relies entirely on donations from tourists to feed the turtles. Sadly, he often does not have enough money to feed the turtles a proper diet of fish so feeds them rice instead. He also explained that there are many many more nests he is unable to save, and many turtles he is unable to raise because he does not have enough space. We noticed each pool contained nearly 50 turtles and that was prior to the main breeding season!
Our aim is to raise enough money to refurbish the current sanctuary, repairing the roof and pools, and expand it by building additional pools so Bulong can continue to rescue as many turtles as possible.
We provide monthly support to ensure the turtles are fed a proper diet of fresh fish and hope to be able to continue with this indefinitely. Anyone who is interested in contributing to the monthly support should get in touch.
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Amy Francis started crowdfunding