Nature Foundation St Maarten
P.O. Box 863
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Tel: (599) 544-4267
Fax: (599) 544-4268
Location: The three Windward Islands: Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten
Species: Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill
Objective(s): The project ran from November 2004-January 2006. The three aims were to increase pride in the fact that these islands still have sea turtles, to create awareness that they need protection and to identify concrete ways in which the public can help.
Contact Info: Dominique Vissenberg, Nature Foundation som Dominique@naturefoundationsxm.org
2. Sea turtle tracking project
Location: St. Eustatius and St. Maarten
Species: Green and Hawksbill turtle
Objective(s): This project ran from October 2005-December 2006 and will be repeated around September 2006. Satellite telemetry has become a common tool for turtle biologists to discover migration pathways between nesting beaches and feeding grounds. It facilitates a greater understanding of their geographical range and habitat utilisation, allowing improved protection and focused conservation efforts in essential habitats. Tracking projects can also be used to great advantage in community awareness programmes, by highlighting turtles’ migratory behavior to engage the public in conservation issues.
Emma Harrison, STENAPA; St Eustatius National Parks, Gallows Bay, St Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles. Tel/fax: + (599) 318-2884;
Dominique Vissenberg, Nature Foundation sum at Dominique@naturefoundationsxm.org
Planned new awareness projects to get people involved to increase the survival chances of nests and to get more records this or next season:
– 2006-2007: Light assessment on the main turtle-nesting beach, in cooperation with WIDECAST
– New poster distribution to inform people on nesting season;
– The placement of turtle informational signs on the beach;
– House to house distribution of flyers to residents and tourists (hotels) who live/stay near the beach.
– Turtle PSA on the radio
– Try to get involvement of hotels and dive shops to get more data
– New educational program “Water”, in which sea turtles play a big part since the turtle mascot Scout is again the main character of the lesson.
Bräutigam, A. and K. L. Eckert. 2006. Turning the Tide: Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. TRAFFIC International, Cambridge, UK.
There are no specific island-level regulations governing the exploitation of marine turtles in Sint Maarten. The Eilandsverordering Natuurbeheer en-Bescherming, nr. 25 (Island Nature Ordinance), adopted in September 2003, is framework legislation that invokes the commitments of the Netherlands Antilles in relation to the SPAW Protocol, CITES and other international obligations and, thus, protects marine turtles and other species covered in those agreements, but makes no specific provisions. Until this legislation was passed, the Netherlands Antilles National Nature Conservation Ordinance, which entered into force in April 2001, was understood to apply and, thus, to provide full legal protection for marine turtles in Sint Maarten (NFSM, 2002; L. Brown, Environmental Department of Sint Maarten-VROM, in litt., 12 August 2002).
Although the general protections conferred through the National Nature Conservation Ordinance and Island Nature Ordinance are important, according to NFSM (2002; A. Caballero, pers. comm., 29 March 2005), dependence on CITES, the SPAW Protocol and other international mandates is not an adequate basis for local marine turtle management, whether it be controlling exploitation or protecting important sites. A marine park ordinance, which would formally designate the Sint Maarten Marine Park, its zoning plan, and their management parameters, is still in draft form and, thus, has not yet been adopted (A. Caballero, in litt., 23 March 2005).
Harrison, E., D. Vissenberg and R. Van Dam. Satellite tracking in the Windward Island of the Netherlands Antilles.
Synbesma, J. 1992. Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for the Netherlands Antilles. (K. L. Eckert, Editor) UNEP Caribbean Environment Program. CEP Technical Report No. 11. 63 pp.
van Buurt, G. (1984). National Report for the Netherlands Antilles. Pp. 329–336. In: P. Bacon et al. (Eds). Proceedings of the First Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, San José, Costa Rica, July 1983, III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press.