Summer has arrived!
If you go to Cape Verde between June and September, you might be lucky enough to admire sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach… unfortunately, far from these beautiful scenery, summer is also the season when turtles get slaughtered: in the early morning, you may find bloody turtle shells or, less shocking but also devastating, looted nests emptied from their eggs. It’s summertime all right… and it’s now or never to support Tommy’s project!
Coveted for their meat, a key ingredient for traditional soups and meals, sea turtles are during the summer the main focus of attention for those who hunt them, as well as for those who protect them. It is a true night game of cat and mouse, occurring every year. Tommy and Jose are among those who tirelessly organize campaigns in order to dissuade potential hunters and raise awareness among tourists, by explaining how quads can be dangerous since these four-wheel motorbikes can destroy nests.
If Cape Verdean legislation has been prohibiting the capture, possession, trade and consumption of sea turtles since 2005, hunters and traders seem to have in fact little to fear. The meat is sometimes openly sold, and some beliefs die hard, especially the one about the turtle penis’ aphrodisiac virtues. This belief is good for trade… and pushes fishermen to capture male turtles at sea.
Capture during nesting directly endangers the existence of the species. It is not however the only threat. More insidious, less brutal, other threats are probably even deadlier for sea turtles in Cape Verde: the proliferation of tourist resorts and housing complexes along the beaches, the coastal pollution with plastic waste or fishing nets, or the destruction of beaches in order to extract the sand needed for concrete production.
The species most present in Cape Verde is the majestic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), that Tommy’s project tries to protect. In full spawning season, your donation will help protect their nests, which means about 50 hatchlings per nest!
Do not wait any longer!