Terrific Turtles

Terrific Turtles

5 August, 2016
Pacsafe Turtle Fund
Helping to protect and nurture the lives of endangered turtles
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Sea turtles are beautiful creatures, and have spanned much of the world's oceans for more than 100 million years. They play a vital role in the ecosystem through their contribution to the maintenance of the health of sea grass beds and coral reefs, which are important habitats for shrimp, lobster and tuna.
 
Sadly, however, according to WWF, nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered. They suffer from poaching and the over-exploitation for their eggs, meat, skin and shells. Also, in the context of modern demands for fish, they often get caught in fishing gear. Climate change has also had a severe impact on turtle nesting sites, as it alters the temperature of sand, which affects the sex of the hatchling.
 
In Hong Kong, our native loggerhead and green turtles are now becoming endangered too, as a result of the destruction of their habitat, egg collecting and over-exploitation.
 
What is The Pacsafe Turtle Fund?
The Pacsafe Turtle Fund was launched in May 2014, its aim to support the conservation efforts of endangered sea turtles, by donating funds to sea turtle conservation projects around the world.
 
Funding benefits amazing projects such as The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtle program. This programme began in 2008, and follows the migration journey of turtles using satellite telemetry in a three-month period. You can get involved by supporting a turtle by raising awareness that it will hopefully have swum the furthest distance in the three-month period. This race is 100 per cent a marathon, not a sprint!
 
Another Pacsafe project, the Río Oro Project has also seen some amazing results!  Aimed at Costa Rican turtles, the area saw a drop in egg nest poaching from 30% to 1.4% by 2016.
 
What’s new this year?
This year, The Pacsafe Turtle Fund has committed itself to funding a turtle clinic and a green nesting program hosted by Te Mana O Te Moana.
 
Te Mana O Te Moana is a non-profit organisation working to protect sea turtles in French Polynesia. Through Pacsafe funding, the organisation will be able to further work towards the protection and rehabilitation of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) endangered sea turtles, which include the Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback species. By doing so, the Pacsafe Turtle Fund will be able to contribute to a number of important requirements, e.g. medical equipment, materials to build a new pool, protecting and relocating nests, research and data collection, and educational booklets and videos.
 
Te Mana O Te Moana is an exciting program to fund, as they have shown the capability to do amazing things. On Polynesian Turtle Day (14th April) the group released a young green turtle named Rob, the last of 54 hatchlings born in November 2014 on a Moorea islet. This was an incredibly significant event as no green turtle nesting had occurred in Moorea in over 10 years prior to this.
 
What can you do to help?
A large portion of the funding that is diverted towards the Pacsafe turtle fund originates from the profit of Pacsafe products. So by buying a strong suitcase or a smart-looking wallet, you can help contribute to the total amount of funding available to endangered turtles, which is turtley awesome! You can also help directly through donations or hands-on volunteer work. Keep a beady eye on their website for more information! Finally, you can also help to raise awareness on the issue through social media. Give Pacsafe's Facebook page a like, and share some of their turtle-awareness posts.

By: Kyrah Mckenzie
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