|Date||17 Oct 2013|
Renatura has been created in 2001 to protect and study sea turtles in Congo-Brazzaville. At this time, nearly all the turtle that were nesting on the Congo beaches were slaughtered and most of the nests were harvested. The implementation of the nest monitoring allowed for a drastic reduction of hunting and harvesting, from nearly 100% to less than 10%. Then we identified other threats.
In Congo, the artisanal fishing activity is concentrated at the “Pointe Indienne” and in the Loango bay, located 30km North to Pointe Noire, where the fish is abundant. It is also a feeding ground for sea turtles. In the bay rich in biodiversity, fishermen incidentally caught a large amount of sea turtles, mainly juvenile greens. To address this issue, we decided to launch a program to address the issue of by-catch in artisanal nets.
An agreement has been reached with fishermen. When they catch a turtle, we go on site to release it in turn for material to fix the net. Thanks to this program we release between 1500 and 3000 turtles each year. While pursuing this, we are looking for a long-term solution. We created a net prototype meeting the best characteristics to reduce by-catches. Experiments showed the prototype increased the fish caught and reduced the by-catch. Now we want to spread the use of this net.
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