Turtles - Conservation Liveaboard trip report

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Trip report form Wicked Diving on their Turtle conservation and Education tour.

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Turtles - Conservation Liveaboard trip report

  1. 1. Turtle Conservation & EducationSimilan Islands, ThailandWicked Diving <br />Divers making a difference<br />
  2. 2. Wicked Diving is about far more than great diving. We are attempting to create a new template for the diving industry<br />We are very passionate about our environment and how to reduce our impact on it. We do this with more than just good intentions and talk. We use only organic, biodegradable soaps, shampoos and conditioners. <br />
  3. 3. But one of the most important pieces of Wicked Diving’s environmental program is our educational trips.<br />While being famous for offering the first and most thorough Whale Shark research trips in Thailand, we also offer trips that educate and raise awareness regarding Sharks & Rays, Turtles and even trips to our locals wrecks and pinnacles.<br />From the 5th to 7th of December, Wicked Diving conducted the first special educational trip of the season! Our eager participants learned about the 7 species of sea turtles, of which four hang around in the Andaman Sea: Leatherback, Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley&apos;s Turtles!<br />
  4. 4. We visited Similan Island #1. This island is off limits to all visitors (snorkeling and diving). as it is a Turtle sanctuary and hatchery.<br />We also shared information on what is the main threat to Turtles (humans - but in ways you might now expect!) Of course it does no good to just comment about the turtles and their threats - current research and conservation efforts were also shared. Most importantly - we learned about how can we help the Turtles and what we can do to make life easier for these endangered species!<br />
  5. 5. On each night of this year’s trip - our own Marine Biologist, Karina, conducted a presentation about Turtles. Ranging from the sea turtles life cycle to how and why they have adapted to live on the sea.<br />However, with special permission granted by the generous Rangers of the Similan Islands National Park, we were lucky enough to visit this remote location. <br />The nesting beach is protected from all visitors to prevent any disturbance to nesting turtles or to any freshly released hatchlings.<br />Ever vigilant - the rangers watch for signs of nesting (disturbed sand and tracks). Once the Turtles lay their eggs, the rangers will mark the nests and raise the eggs.<br />The sanctuary consists of 6 tanks to hold the new born turtles and nurse them for some months until they will have a larger size and a better chance of survival when placed back in the sea.<br />
  6. 6. On each night of this year’s trip - our own Marine Biologist, Karina, conducted a presentation about Turtles. Ranging from the sea turtles life cycle to how and why they have adapted to live on the sea.<br />However, with special permission granted by the generous Rangers of the Similan Islands National Park, we were lucky enough to visit this remote location. <br />The nesting beach is protected from all visitors to prevent any disturbance to nesting turtles or to any freshly released hatchlings.<br />Ever vigilant - the rangers watch for signs of nesting (disturbed sand and tracks). Once the Turtles lay their eggs, the rangers will mark the nests and raise the eggs.<br />The sanctuary consists of 6 tanks to hold the new born turtles and nurse them for some months until they will have a larger size and a better chance of survival when placed back in the sea.<br />
  7. 7. We learned that one of the biggest hazards to Turtle nesting is the cleanliness of the beaches. If there is too much rubbish, then the turtles can&apos;t actually dig their nests.<br />As part of all our educational programs - we strongly emphasize what we do DO. for the Turtle Education trip, we decided to embark on both an extensive beach cleanup, but also a reef cleanup.<br />As you can see, it took some effort! All guests and staff took part in this. Of course spending a day on one the most remote beaches in the world, helping preserve turtle hatching areas and enjoying life is not exactly the hardest work - but just look at how much rubbish we collected!<br />
  8. 8. Of course there was more than just the beaches!<br />“TURTLE” someone joyously yelled as we were having a break time while moored on Donald Duck Bay at Similan Island #8. And there it was: a beautiful big sea turtle swimming on the side of our boat. Snorkels and cameras on, lets enjoy the meeting with this so ancestral, endangered and amazing animal!<br />
  9. 9. Feeding turtles is bad for them – if not deadly<br />Unfortunately the turtles approach the boats expecting to get food. Some dive operators try to impress their customers by feeding them with bread and bananas! This is both harmful as the foods are foreign to the ecosystems of the turtles - but it is also very harmful in another way. If the turtles were to approach a fishing boat - they are simply plucked out of the water and eaten! So to impress their guests, they are killing the turtles :(<br />
  10. 10. Wicked Diving and SSI Thailand<br />All the participants in our Turtle Educational tour were certified as Naturalist Divers as they also learned about the reefs, gastropods, cephalopods, arthropods, etc...<br />Sounds like a lot? It&apos;s just the marine life we see underwater everyday! Would you like to learn more? Come join us on our next special education trip - Manta Ray and Whale shark Conservation and Research on February 6- 8 2010!<br />
  11. 11. Wicked Diving<br />KhaoLak, Thailand<br />Similan Islands<br />Wicked Diving is committed to far more than just diving. From our educational programs to the active participation in the local school for gifted Burmese children to the organic products used on our SimilanLiveaboard.<br />Why just dive when you can help make our world a better place?<br />Join us for your diving, snorkeling or educational tours. We are happy to cater to your needs. <br />
  12. 12. Wicked Diving<br />KhaoLak, Thailand<br />Similan Islands<br />Wickeddiving.com<br />Similan Diving Blog<br />Similan Diving Videos<br />+1 415 508 3654 (USA)+66 857 857 465 (International)+66 76 485 868 (Landline - Int&apos;l)0857 857 465 (Thailand)076 485 868 (Landline Thailand)<br />Skype: wickeddiving<br />Facebook<br />

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