Sustainable Ocean Alliance Ghana (SOA Ghana hub), an ocean conservation and environmental organisation embarked on a community campaign last Saturday which focused on educating fishers and coastal dwellers on the need to protect endangered sea turtles in Cape Coast.
Ghana’s coastline provides a vital habitat for endangered sea turtles such as Olive Ridleys, Leatherbacks, and Green Turtles, which face multiple threats including poaching and fisheries bycatch. These endangered sea turtles travel thousands of miles to reach Ghana’s shores to lay their eggs, only to be often captured, killed, or sold to illicit traffickers by local fishers and coastal residents.
SOA Ghana’s community campaign took place at the Moree beach and landing sites in Cape Coast. Over 100 trainers, coastal dwellers and fishers participated in the campaign.
Gideon Sarpong, an advisor for SOA Ghana, described the event as an enlightening experience for many fishers and community members, igniting their commitment to protecting these vulnerable sea turtles. He elaborated, “Many coastal residents previously involved in the poaching of these sea turtles were unaware of the invaluable roles they play, from maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems to transporting essential nutrients from the oceans to beaches and coastal dunes. Additionally, sea turtles contribute to the regulation of jellyfish populations, which are known to prey on fish eggs.”
This initiative, supported by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance in the United States, has also established two turtle protection clubs within the communities at Moree beach in Cape Coast. These clubs will play a crucial role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the conservation efforts.
SOA Ghana’s dedication to these conservation endeavors remains unwavering, with another community engagement event planned for December in Accra, Ghana. Additionally, an online conference on protecting sea turtles and an ongoing online campaign will continue to advocate for the protection of sea turtles in Ghana.
Credit: SOA Ghana