|Categories||Education, Marine, Reptiles, Turtles|
|Date||22 Feb 2018|
Kalpitiya peninsula located in Gulf of Mannar which one side is sea and other side is Puttlam Lagoon. It is a biodiversity rich area including sea turtles and other marine mega fauna such as dolphins, whales & dugongs. Moreover, various habitats such as coral reefs, seagrasses and also largest mangrove coverage in Sri Lanka. Bar reef home to 156 species of coral and 283 species of fish. Both sea and lagoon fishing is the major industry in the area. 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. Fishermen are highly contributing to destruct sea turtles and almost all the coastal biodiversity in the area. Many people are having low income while few earning more. During the previous two Rufford grants we have conducted several programmes and field conservation activities to minimize this destructions in the Kalpitiya peninsula. However, the area is very large and still some villages remaining to cover in Kalpitiya peninsula, adjacent mainland and nearby inhabited small islands. It is important to complete the awareness programs in the remaining areas.
So it is planning to complete the awareness programmes in the whole Kalpitiya peninsula. Especially fishers living in remote islands from mainland will be educated to release by-catch sea turtles and conservation of coastal biodiversity. In our previous projects it was experienced that fisheries communities actively participated for field activities such as beach cleaning. We will be used these activities to spread our sea turtle and coastal biodiversity conservation message as well as reduce plastic & polythene pollution. School children and local fishermen will be the target group of this programmes while we will meet many early school leavers in remote areas.
Read about lalith's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/dr_lalith_ekanayake_1 or for more information contact: