Sea turtles are one of the very few animals to graze on seagrass and help maintain the health of the seagrass beds. Like normal lawn grass, seagrass needs to be constantly cut short to be healthy and help it grow across the ocean floor. Over the past decades, due to pollution, there has been a decline in seagrass beds, leading to a decline in the sea turtle population.
Seagrass beds are important because they provide breeding and developmental grounds for many species of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. Without seagrass beds, many marine species would be lost, eventually impacting human beings. If sea turtles go extinct, there would be a serious decline in seagrass beds and a decline in all the other species dependent upon the grass beds for survival.
FSL-India started its Sea Turtle Conservation project in 2008. Since then, our organization has been creating awareness among the local fisherman community and coastal population in order to protect the sea turtle population.
The dedication and creativity of FSL-India’s volunteers and staff towards the painting of murals on public surfaces near the beaches have greatly contributed towards this objective.
The first day started with removing the remaining paint from the wall from the earlier murals painted a couple years ago and cleaning the wall with brushes and water.
Overall, this procedure took a long time, because there were also some plants covering the entire wall, which the FSL-India team had to remove first. With a newly cleaned wall, we were now able to cover it with layers of white paint to draw on it later.
Some locals also joined and interestedly watched the procedure. They said they were happy that foreigners come and do that sort of work for free because for them it is inspiring to take action themselves. Rakesh, a former local volunteer for FSL-India also joined in and gave us some tips, how we could paint more evenly.On Thursday, we began outlining the picture and finally started to paint the motif on the wall.
Since there was also some Kannada parts we had to write, some locals came and helped us translate the pre-written English sentences into Kannada. We were lucky because they stayed the entire day and even came the next day to help us with painting the mural, which they said they had never done before and were happy to have that experience. Two college students from Udupi also joined the team.
Altogether, we were a big group, and therefore we could split the work well and it was easier for all of us. Thanks to ‘Recogida de Fondos Por India’ for sponsoring the materials and making this mural painting on awareness possible!
On the last day, we completed the mural with lots of help and we are proud of the finished work.
Moreover, the mural is important because it should show the fishermen how they can profit from the sea turtle conservation and how they can secure the turtles.
If you find any sea turtle nest or injured turtles at Gangoli or the surrounding areas, then please contact FSL-India at 9164138444.