The globally significant number of nesting marine turtles attracted WWF to the Guianas in the 1960s. The beaches of the Guianas remain one of the major nesting beaches of the Wider Caribbean region which ensure that marine turtle protection continues to be a top priority for WWF-Guianas. Green, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles all nest on our shores. However, many threats are increasing such as climate change, eroding beaches, offshore oil and gas development, turtle egg consumption, high levels of fishing bycatch, and dog predation of nests.
WWF-Guianas has been financially supporting the long-term sea turtle nesting beach monitoring program, together with the relevant government agencies in the Guianas to strengthen the enforcement capacity through monitoring and enforcement activities. The monitoring activities in Guyana and Suriname are done in collaboration with the relevant government agencies as well with the local communities and volunteers.
By collaborating and engaging with multiple stakeholders, WWF aims through our actions to protect marine turtles, dolphins, sharks and rays and their habitats.
The IUCN red list status for the North West Atlantic leatherback population has been updated in 2019 from “least concerned” to “endangered”, because of the rapidly declining population of the leatherback in the region.
This was why WWF-Guianas started with a Regional Leatherback action plan program which will assess and find the causes of the decline of the Leatherback population in our region, with the focus on the main nesting beaches and the identify the conservation actions that must be taken throughout the Wider Caribbean.
When a leatherback hatchling in the Caribbean crawls out of its egg it faces a life full of dangers. Most of these are caused by humans; such as pollution, unsustainable fishing activities and poaching.
WWF-Guianas is also increasing awareness on the Marine Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) identification guide for fishers, especially in the artisanal fishing industry through the production of an animated video on ETP and bycatch of non-targeted fish species. The ETF key species of the Guianas include sharks, whales, dolphins, and sea turtles. Since devices and gears are limited in use among artisanal fishers because of the different fishing techniques used, education and awareness, is the most important strategy at this scale to identify and report on bycatch and ETP species in order to improve sustainable measures in the sector.
Fisherfolk catch sharks, rays, turtles and other endangered species in their nets as bycatch, which they must release. The video shows the need to use a species identification guide of endangered marine animals.