EJF launches project to protect marine turtles

Gomoa Fetteh (C/R)- Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working to protect the environment has launched an initiative aimed at protecting future generations of marine turtles.

Dubbed Gomoa Fetteh turtle conservation project, the initiative seeks to closely engage local communities to turn turtle poachers into coastal custodians.

Mr. Kuusaana Peter Canicius, Programmes Officer of EJF underscored the need for all relevant stakeholders including fishermen, fish smokers and community leaders, as well as law enforcement agencies to be enthusiastically engaged in the project.

He said the initiative was targeted at the by-catch of careless nets of fishers to raise awareness that turtles had very good conservation benefits for fisheries.

He said a sea turtle’s life is often troubled by human action at every stage from the hatchlings to adulthood, with ruinous effects of ocean heating and habitat loss.

He, however expressed optimism that the project would go a long way to protect the lives of marine turtles and further increase fish stock.

I have no doubt that the care of local communities and EJF project will have an impact and save their numbers from declining further, he stated.

He said EJF had engaged young men who would patrol the beaches during the nesting season to observe the turtles that come to the shores, take measurement of their shells, look out for nest that could protect them and watch over it until they hatch and return to the seas.

Mr. Canicius urged the chief fisherman and the traditional council to help make the project a success.

Nana Kojo Annan II, Kyidomhen and Chairman of Council of Elders at Gomoa Fetteh expressed gratitude to EJF for their involvement in the Ahoba festival.

He said sea turtles provided various services that made coastal waters productive and increase availability of fish and pledged support for the project.

If we are able to protect turtles in our communities, we can build an eco-tourism industry around visiting turtles and provide sources of income to our people and hotels and further create more jobs for our youth, he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency