|Date||9 Jan 2017|
Project location is Kalpitiya peninsular which one side is sea and other side is Puttlam lagoon. This area is rich in lots of biodiversity including sea turtles, dolphins, whales, coral reefs, seagrasses & sea birds. Bar reef home to 156 species of coral and 283 species of fish. Further Kalpitiya is a best site for whales and Dolphin watching including blue whales. Puttalam lagoon has largest mangrove coverage in Sri Lanka. Fishery industry is major industry in the area having sea and lagoon fishing. Foraging sea turtles are entering to the lagoon and swim long distance inside. They often get entangled in the sea and lagoon causing damage for each entanglement for fishing nets. In response, fishers either beat the turtles’ heads until they are rendered unconscious, or hack off the turtles’ body parts to make disentanglement easier. The fishermen are highly contributing to destruct sea turtles and almost all the coastal biodiversity in the area. Most of them use small out motor boats or small traditional crafts for fishing while few people use big multiple day boats. Many people are having low income while few earning more. So it is urgent need to minimize these destructive activities.
For the conservation and management of sea turtles and coastal biodiversity, public awareness has been identified as the major solution by many global, regional and national action plans. So many of the conservation organizations throughout the world conduct public awareness programmes as the key conservation activity. So using this grant it is expecting conduct awareness and field conservation programmes to the coastal communities in the Kalpitiya peninsular. It was identified that field activities such as beach cleaning and mangrove re-planting more interested and more useful for the coastal community. While conducting these field activities the message were given to the community for conservation of sea turtles and coastal bio diversity. School children and local fishermen’s in the coastal areas of Kalpitiya peninsular will be the target group of this proposed programme.
Some aims and objectives of these programmes are to
- Increase the education and awareness on importance of sea turtle & coastal biodiversity conservation.
- Increase the community knowledge on sustainable use of surrounding natural coastal resources.
- To reduce the turtle by-catch, dolphin killing and illegal fishing activities.
- Promote field conservation activities among the coastal community & reduce use of plastic bags.
Read about Lalith's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/dr_lalith_ekanayake_0 or for more information contact: