Every season, a number of nesting turtles will inadvertently be scared off the beach by over enthusiastic tourists, eager to immortalise the experience with the perfect shot for their photo album... and to make their friends back home green with envy!
In 2004, MCSS created the “Turtle Watcher’s Code of Conduct” with funding from the British High Commission and while these have been widely distributed to tourism establishments located on nesting beaches around Seychelles, many tourist, and locals for that matter, still do not know how to behave around a nesting turtle.
With the recent establishment of the Tourism Police Unit within the local Police Force, these Officers provide a unique opportunity to maximise nesting success while raising awareness about turtle conservation.
MCSS began working with the Tourism Police in the South of Mahé during the 2008-09 Nesting Season, with Christopher Adrianne reporting nesting emergences on a number of beaches and even assisting with a poaching incident. In 2009-10, Andy Agricole and Michael Jacques joined the un-official Turtle Team within the Tourism Police. Other Officers, particularly on Anse Intendance, were also on turtle watch but never seemed to see a nesting turtle.
Andy Agricole making sure a nesting turtle is not disturbed by tourist on Anse Takamaka, photo Elke Talma.
Through their tireless effort in patrolling their designated beaches and their enthusiasm for turtle conservation, a number of turtle’s nested successfully this season and hopefully many tourist returned home with a turtle tale to pass on to their friends.
After months of watching over nesting turtles, Christopher Adrienne finally sees his first hatchling, photo Elke Talma.