About the Plan of action
The West Africa sub-region is home to six of the seven species of sea turtles that have been listed across the world. Also found in the region are three sites of global importance for the breeding and survival of these species, as follows:
- - The Bijagos Archipelago: more specifically the Joao Vieira and Poilao Marine Park in Guinea-Bissau. It is considered as the most important egg-laying site for green turtles along the Atlantic coast.
- - The Boa Vista island, Cabo Verde: This is the third most important breeding ground for the loggerhead turtle in the world.
- - The Banc d’Arguin National Park, Mauritania: Based on recent observations, this site is considered as one of the most important feeding grounds for turtles worldwide, along with its significant areas of seagrasses and seaweeds.
Monitoring sea turtles on these sites proves extremely difficult because of the magnitude of human activities and their disturbing impact, such as illegal exploitation activities, urbanisation, infrastructural development, mass tourism, oil spill, etc. At sea, the increase in fishing efforts also endangers sea turtles, not least because of the significant amount of bycatches. Marine debris, particularly plastic waste, poses an additional threat to sea turtles. Under this project, West African stakeholders, with the support of their international partners, aim to reduce such threats by providing specific support, so as to :
- - protect turtle populations on breeding and feeding grounds
- - mitigate the negative impact of infrastructural development along the coastline and offshore oil and gas activities;
- - reduce fishery bycatches.
Spanning three years, the project covers 7 countries of the PRCM area in West Africa (Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone).