Living with sea turtles –

Village development and biodiversity in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Since 2012 there exists the African NGO “CEM“ (Conservation des Especes Marines) organized protection of sea turtles in the southwest of Côte d´Ivoire. The coastal villages were successfully integrated. For over 20 people new local jobs were created. Since then, on approx. 40 km coastal area about 100,000 olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivea), green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) successfully hatch. The financing has been realised by FWS (Fish and Wildlife Service). In addition to the coastal area, a nature reserve of 5,000 ha is in planning, this contains the last remains of the rain forest which was extensively cut down in the late decade. Rain-Forest-Trust operates the financing. Furthermore, a marine reserve the size of 18,000 ha is planned that includes the entire shallow water area in front of the spawn area. Dipl. Biol. O. Grell has been present every year since 2014 and has brought his own European initiative to support the project into fruition. Subsequently, the working group “CEM-Europe“ has developed. The company “Oceanbasis“ from Kiel-Holtenau supports the project through marketing their sea algae-aquaculture. The cooperation with the ivory authorities took off well. The goal is the creation of overall five marine reserves on the ivory coast.

For more information:

Document can be downloaded here – Seaturtles and costal Habitas Ivory-Coast 2018

Image 1. Sea turtle slaughtered on the beach

Image 2. Sea turtle eggs for sale

Image 3. Newly hatched ivory sea turtle during its first steps into the ocean