Looking for Volunteers to Join our Turtle Protection Project on the Coast of Ghana

As you may know I run a project on the Eastern coast of Ghana which works to protect female leatherback turtles, olive ridley turtles, and green turtles which arrive on the coast to lay their eggs. 100_0593Traditionally the community kill and eat both the turtles and their eggs. We have been spending the last 10 years working to change this practice to ensure the long term survival of leatherbacks and other turtles.
The protection season runs from October to March inclusive. Please have a look at my report from last year’s season ( see previous blog).100_1315 - Copy

I am looking for volunteers to join the Turtle Protection Team and help them in their efforts. If you could join them from 1 to 3 months you could be a great help to the team.

Requirements : –
There are some costs involved :

flight ( £450 to £600 )
visa ( £50 )
cost of staying at Meet Me There as a volunteer, One Month £850, two Months £1250, three Months £1650 ( this covers all costs in Ghana including accomodation, all food, airport pickup, etc )
insurance and anti malarials

The Voluntary Work
You will be going out at night with the turtle protection team to patrol and find and protect laying turtles. As well as this you will be responding to sighting where you will be called to a laying turtle so you can protect her and her eggs. You will ensure the turtle gets safely back to the sea, and you will be relocating the eggs so they can hatch in a safe area.
A lot of this work is done at night, so you will need to be able to work at nights, and rest in the day. This is not always easy as all the other volunteers will be working in the day.
No experience necessary, but if you have experience in this line of work that would be a huge bonus.

If you are interested in joining us to work with us to protect this amazing animal please email me on hpnewton@hotmail.co.uk

This is the NGO that operates out of Meet Me There
This is the lodge you will be staying at.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks Hugh Newton.

Jellyfish Explosion

Leatherback turtles, which weigh up to 650 kilograms, can eat up to 70% of their body weight in a day. That is a huge amount of jellyfish. As the link below shows, there has been an explosion of the jellyfish population in most of the world’s oceans. Protecting turtles also protects fish.



“Sometimes we’ll catch 4,000 or 5,000 pounds of jellyfish. They spray all around. We get stung,” fisherman Ryan Rogers.

We are finding the same thing off the coast of Ghana. Local fishing nets are pulling in increasing numbers of jellyfish. We highlight this as part of our education effort to encourage people not to kill the turtles. People here can see the direct impact that a jellyfish explosion has on their catch. Local people depend on the fishing, and so keeping turtles alive also keeps down the populations of jellyfish. Jellyfish eat small and baby fish, so have a dramatic effect on the fish population.



Slaughtered Leatherback

Slaughtered Leatherback

Sadly, this is one we were not able to save. This pregnant female ( you can see the eggs on the left ) was killed and eaten before we could get to her.
For me it is understandable that people want to eat these critically endangered animals ( they always have ). I am trying to replace this source of meat with contributions into the community and with employment as turtle guards and guides. This female, if she has survived, could have laid up to 100 eggs, and would have revisited twice more to lay this season.