Published at 16/06/2021

Sea Turtles: The sentinels of the sea threatened by global development

World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated on 16 June, with the aim of stressing the importance of turtles and the need to protect them globally.

Sea turtles are migratory animals that spend most of their time at sea, crossing the oceans to feed and reproduce. They are animals that have a long life cycle and can live for up to 100 years. Currently there are seven species of sea turtle, and five of these are found in Mozambique, namely the green, hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback and Olive Ridley turtles.

Human action is regarded as the main threat to the survival of sea turtles, particularly fishing, coastal development, the illegal trade in wildlife, the pollution of the oceans, and climate change.

The Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND) through its programmes is contributing to the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats through the support given to all the Marine Conservation Areas in the country, in its inspection, research and monitoring programmes, namely: the  Maputo Environmental Protection Area; the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve; the Vilanculos Wildlife Sanctuary; the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park; the First and Second Islands Environmental Protection Area; and the Quirimbas National Park.

Each of us should contribute towards protecting these animals that are so important for the environment.