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Sea Turtle Nesting Season Ends

The Nature Enhancement Team Inc. (NET) announces the end of its NET Rosalie Sea Turtle Conservation & Tourism Program for the 2023 sea turtle nesting season. The season ended with conservation program activities yielding successful results and  tourism program activities yielding marginal results.

As usual, the season started with visiting Leatherbacks (March – July) and ended with visiting Greens and Hawksbill (July – September). During that period, NET personnel conducted night beach patrol (every night, 8:00 pm to 5:00 am) as well as daytime nest excavation and Beach cleanup (nesting habitat maintenance) exercises. In addition, NET hosted night time turtle tours (adult turtles) and daytime turtle tours (hatchlings).

This year, NET Rosalie experienced its most successful sea turtle conservation season in five years. All three turtle species (Leatherback, Green & Hawksbill) recorded the highest number of visits. Visiting turtles included 13 new turtles that were tagged, named and adopted. NET personnel relocated 19 clutches of eggs and handled a total of 2,413 eggs. They excavated 21 nests and helped 1,216 hatchlings crawl from nest to ocean. Thankfully, the ocean brought less sargassum and poachers gave beach patrollers fewer headaches.

For the NET Rosalie tourism program however, 2023 was a poor season. Tropical storm Bret (June 22, 2023) impacted the program. Bret triggered ocean swells which battered the beach and ravaged the NET sea turtle egg sanctuary (hatchery).  Storm waters inundated 16 Leatherback nests and in the process destroyed some 1,500  eggs. As a consequence of Bret, NET lost the opportunity to conduct approximately 75% of its daytime hatchling tour operation. In the end however, NET conducted 28 night time (adult turtle) tours and 17 daytime (hatchling) tours. During those tours, NET personnel entertained a total of 163 guests and 219 guests respectively.

Consistent with operations every year since 2008, NET conducted this year’s sea turtle conservation activities under the auspices of the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization (DomSeTCO). DomSeTCO is the national body responsible for coordinating sea turtle conservation activities on sea turtle nesting beaches in Dominica.

NET extends to DomSeTCO sincere gratitude for providing the valuable support that has sustained NET Rosalie sea turtle conservation operations throughout the years. NET is proud to be a part of a national team that protects endangered sea turtles visiting beaches in Dominica every year to  lay their eggs. In addition, NET says thank you to the following partners:  Rosalie Bay Eco Resort, Hon. Gretta Roberts & NEP, DCTAI, La Plaine police, Guests (Nationals & Visitors),  Turtle Parents (Adopted Turtles), Turtle volunteers (beach clean up, community outreach) and Turtle Supporters (Turtle chat, turtle donation). Thank you for helping to protect creation.

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