Category Archives: Community work

Two Giant Turtles Saved

Diving The Crab are going great guns with the turtle rescue. Here are some more pictures of  2 big turtles released today. Danny tells me these 2 were really big – one was aboug 2m long and 150kg, the other a bit smaller (!!) at 1m long.

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They are brought in by the fishermen in their dug out canoes. You can see how horribly tangled up they are in the deadly nets. They are carefully lifted out of the canoe and cut free.

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Once free of the nets, the turtles are able to swim off to freedom back to the open ocean.

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This is Danny looking on with relief and I imagine great pride 🙂

Who ever said turtles had it easy? Imagine getting tangled up in a net as you are swimming along and eventually drowning because you couldn’t breathe. And I thought I had had a bad day today!!

Please help us save these turtles by donating. This turtle release programme is only a stop-gap, band aid measure. We HAVE to get the fishermen alternative ways of fishing and for this we need funding. Mending the nets is not a viable, long-term solution. We need to educate them and present them with alternatives that work. You can help us by donating.

OLIVE RIDLEY SURVIVES

Diving The Crab has saved another turtle. This time a little Olive Ridley turtle. Olive Ridley turtles are generally small with a thin, heart-shaped shell. They can weigh up to 45kg(100lb) and grow up to 75cm (30inches). They feed on both animal and vegetable material – crabs, jelly fish and when times are hard they will feed mostly on algae.

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You can see how horribly tangled it is in the deadly net.

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Thank you to the Diving The Crab team in Diani for saving yet another turtle. Any donation you make will go directly to this turtle project. We need to urgently stop the fishermen from using these nets. You can help us by donating.

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Thank you!

DIVING THE CRAB SAVES THE DAY

Diving The Crab is one of the leading dive operators here in Diani. You can check out their website www.divingthecrab.com for some super diving information and packages.

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Daniel the manager has been working tirelessly with the local fishermen in an attempt to get them to release turtles that get caught in their nets. For each turtle that they release the fishermen are given a small reward to encourage better fishing practices. Whenever the fishermen have to cut their nets the arrangement is that they bring their nets plus entangled turtle to Danny for him to deal with. The fishermen bring the turtle to the Diving The Crab dive base in their dug out canoes.

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Danny and his team will carefully remove the net and release the turtle back into the ocean.

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Without Danny’s intervention these turtles would have drowned to death in the nets. It is so important to stop the use of the nets, in particular the habit the fishermen have of putting them on our coral reefs. I cannot begin to tell you how damaging these nets are to our marine life. I have described the huge problems they cause in earlier entries to this blog.

Together with dive operators like Diving The Crab we hope to encourage the fishermen to stop using the nets altogether. The initiative that Danny has started is a fantastic way to getting to know the fishermen and although our aim is get them to stop this method of fishing, having them bring the turtles to us is a good start. They also realise that they can release the turtle themselves so sometimes they don’t need to bring the turtles ashore and will just let Danny know that they have released a turtle. So far they have released 7 turtles which is brilliant. They are now more aware and educated thanks to Diving The Crab’s intervention.

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We hope to get everyone in our community to work together to save our turtles.

These turtles pictured say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone at Diving The Crab!!

SOMALIA CALLING

Sorry for the silence everyone, we have been away! It’s good to be home although we are still en route and will get back to the coast on Friday 🙂

We have been working with SIFO Fish Organisation in Somalia for some time now because one of the 3 tags from last year came off up there. Mohamed, our kind contact, has been working tirelessly in an attempt to find that tag for us and he recently sent me these photos of his work. He is using this poster as a way of raising awareness about the plight of whale sharks in Somalia and we are really grateful for his help. We are hoping he will come to watch the acoustic tagging programme, set to start next week.

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It’s a gruesome picture but it sends a strong message which is important.

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It shows how if we work together, we can make a difference.

A big thank you to Mohamed and his team in Somalia 🙂

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Here is a picture I have been sent by Aniket who came on Expedition 2008. It is a super picture and you can make out the tag on the right hand side of the shark. It is a black object sticking out of the sharks side just behind the dorsal fin.

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We have had a very restful weekend here. We went diving and were entertained by a pod of dolphins for ages. They just swam round and round us, it was amazing! Then it was up at the crack of dawn this morning. Volker left for Zanzibar and I went to a meeting with the KWS and TUI/Pollmans representatives to work the whale shark education project into the Year of the Dolphin education campaign. I am also pushing really hard for an aerial survey of our coast line so that we can start to get a clearer picture of how many whale sharks (and turtles, dolphins, whales, mantas etc) we have along our shores. I think it is absolutely critical to whatever research and eco-tourism is bound to follow this year’s expedition.

 Our accoustic array has now arrived all the way from Rachel, WCS in Belize. We are going to put the tags out at the end of April and I will keep you posted on that. We are planning for the last 10 days of April, weather permitting.

Have a good start to your week!

REALITY BITES

It’s back to earth with a bump and back to the real world for us here in Diani. We enjoyed the tagging so much but now it’s back to work!! Simon and David went into schools yesterday to give presentations and generally blow the East African Whale Shark’s trumpet after Expedition 2008!! (Can you really blame us?!!) Volker and I went to a community meeting down in Shimoni on the Year of the Dolphin sponsored by TUI/Pollmans and the Kenya Wildlife Service. It was a lengthy meeting but a productive one. There were various key parties there – school teachers, fishermen, boat operators, local chiefs and projects like ours. We all have the welfare of dolphins and other marine creatures in mind. Last year we adopted a code of conduct for dolphin interaction and this year we plan to build on that. There is a launch planned and other awareness raising campaigns, workshops and projects afoot. This grass roots work is really important and whilst of course we would rather be out there tagging and doing research, nothing can stand on its own hence the need for community meetings so that we can work together. We were glad to be there and Volker is going to run some workshops for the fishermen on how to use echo-sounders. We hope to encourage them to fish away from our precious coral reefs. Echo-sounders will help them find the fish out on the continental shelf and generally make their lives a lot easier. I am going to help start Year of the Dolphin related work in the local schools here in Diani.

Here we are at the meeting. Mr Abdulla Aziz is standing up, next to him is KWS Senior Warden Yusuf, the Assistant Director Philip Mwakio and Dan Schumacher from TUI. You can also see the really impressive wall display in the KWS information centre.

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And here is Brent, who will have just about reached home after a monster 48 trip. He is off to tag seals today. We miss you Brent!!

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