FSL India’s Sea Turtle project team has participated in Turtle Action Group’s Annual meeting held at Kumta, Karnataka between 13th to 15th November.
Turtle Action Group (TAG) is nation-wide network of Sea Turtle conservation organisations. About 100 people from different areas got together in the Dr. A.V. Baliga College of Arts and Science in Kumta, a village on the coast of Karnataka. The TAG was aimed to improve communication between the different organisations in order to be able to induce changes at a larger scale. Because of the big diversity between the organisations in different languages and locations, this proved very difficult while trying to find a consent. The Indian Wildlife Act from 1973 may have led to a decline of the intentional hunting of sea turtles; however, by-catching increased drastically since the 1990s. The TAG members argued that it is necessary that fishermen use TED nets; in order to achieve this, existing laws need to be reinforced. TAG planned to compose a letter to put pressure onto local governments to enforce the laws.
Dr. Kartik Shanker introduced SWOT, a data collection system about the state of the worlds’ sea turtles. Every organisation could contribute to this network by providing local data. During the weekend every organisation gave an insight in its awareness-rising strategies and activities as well as achievements and problems. Some groups showed documentaries they are using for awareness-rising in their local communities.
On Monday the TAG members went to the beach for field studying. Using the example of an Olive Ridley which lives in captivity, it was showed how to analise a sea turtle and also procedure for beach profiling was explained.
On 21st of November people from FSL India, Turtle bay resort and Trasi Nirmala Grama Samithi has participated in a conference about ‘Responsible Tourism’. The conference was held at TMA Pai University, Manipal. Mr Abraham Chako spoke about his effort in creating eco tourism opportunities in Trasi village and managing a eco friendly beach resort. Mr Aravind presented the functions of FSL India in contribution to social welfare. Miss Karin, volunteer from sanitation project shared her experience in India and in giving awareness to the people about the importance of health and hygiene. After the introduction presentation, there was a discussion about responsible tourism and Mr Chako responded for the participants questions.
The conference was organized by Alumni Affairs Committee from TAPMI for the university’s management students. Around 40 people were participated including TAPMI professors.
During 2nd and 3rd of November Margarete (coordinator) from AFS Germany visited FSL India Kundapur and Bangalore offices. During 3 days in Kundapur, we had meeting and visited some project, Eco tourism has organized boat trip and had meeting with volunteer on an island. It was good time to see a partner and would be helpful for future our cooperation.
December month’s get together was organized at Beach Guest House on the side of beautiful at Malpe beach. There were 14 volunteers and 6 staffs participated. Along with the regular evaluations and 1-1 talk with volunteers, also played Kabaddi game on the beach.
This month FSL India has welcomed 11 volunteers from different 4 countries…
|Sl No|| First Name|| Host Org|
|1||launay Guillanume||Jathanna School, Moodibidri|
|2||Giulia Silvanimi||Mercede, Mangalore|
|3||Susanne Oppermann||Poirada, Hopete|
|4||Raffaele Trombetta||Sea Turtle, Kundapur|
|5||Piia Jarvinen||Spandana, Udupi|
|6||Henriikka Forsman||Spandana, Udupi|
|7||Alice Harnois||Manasa Jyothi, Japthi|
|8||Alison Gorrity||Vagjyothi, Ampar|
|9||Elena Fantasia ||Chikken Sall School, Kundapur|
|10||Mattia Carraro||Tent school, Kundapur|
|11||Fabiana Merci||Chikken Sall School, Kundapur|
Looking back to your expectations and goals, would you like to comment on your overall experience here?
- I could create my expectations day by day working in Seon Ashram and I could achieve some little results for the patients, but that were important steps for the project. For these reasons I feel that every single little success was a great gain for my life and personal growth.
- This experience is so good for me! I get strong! I can do anything by myself than before!
- I haven’t many other words. It was the most beautiful experience of my life!
- I wait of this experience a personal change that she (it )opens me the spirit and makes me more autonomous.
On the 28th of October the first sea turtle nest hatched on Maravanthe Beach. Out of 68 eggs, 61 eggs hatched and were released in the sea in the presence of forest department officers and the FSL volunteers. It was an amazing experience for everyone who was there. Currently there are 4 long-term volunteers in this project, two from Germany, one from Finland and one from Switzerland, and the project coordinator Daya with FSL team leaders Deepak and Dinesh.
With the help of the October work campers, 3 Turtle Information Centers were build on the beaches around Kundapura in order to inform the locals about sea turtles and their threats. We also did several beach walks and a harbour visit where we give away flyers. Most of the fishermen in the area know us already and some of their children were helping us to hand out the flyers. The goal of our awareness-rising activities is that people stop eating or selling the turtle eggs and that they call us immediately if they see any nests. So far it has worked out quite well: A new nest with 146 eggs was discovered on the 30th of October. A hatchery was build around it in order to protect it from animals and, of course, humans. We also hope for new baby turtles as the nest on Kodi Beach is supposed to hatch around the 13th of November.