Sea Turtle Conservation

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) has been dedicated to protecting endangered sea turtles on the island of Bonaire since 1991. The island is home to three endangered species: the hawksbill, green, and loggerhead turtles. With the support of WWF-NL, STCB has made significant strides in safeguarding turtle breeding areas, conducting vital research, and raising awareness among the local community and visitors.

Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan

STCB and its partners are currently developing the Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) for the Dutch Caribbean. This initiative aims to enhance the conservation and recovery efforts for sea turtles in the region. In preparation for the STRAP, STCB and WWF-NL organized a workshop during the annual WIDECAST conference.

This workshop brought together various organizations involved in sea turtle conservation across the Dutch Caribbean. The main goals were to review the current status of activities, analyze the threats to sea turtles, and outline the action plan. The participants also began identifying priority actions needed to improve sea turtle protection on each island. The STRAP project is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality and WWF-NL and is implemented by STCB in collaboration with WWF-NL.

Giving a presentation about conservation work © Jorinde Mare

The Role of WIDECAST

Sea turtles are migratory and travel across vast distances, which means their protection requires coordinated efforts at local, regional, and international levels. The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) is a key player in this process. This international network consists of sea turtle experts from over 40 Caribbean countries and territories. WIDECAST provides scientific guidance and will review and approve all documents produced for the STRAP.

Why This Matters

Sea turtles are an essential part of marine ecosystems. Sea turtles may not look like predators, but they often are. They ensure a good balance in the ocean ecosystem. The hawksbill turtle, for example, eats sponge animals, which are animals that can compete with corals. And the leatherback turtle eats jellyfish, which in turn helps to keep fish numbers up. Jellyfish eat the food of small fish such as plankton. Green turtles feed on seagrass and are the gardeners of the sea, keeping the seagrass meadows healthy. STCB’s work is crucial in maintaining the balance of these ecosystems and securing a future for sea turtles in the Dutch Caribbean.

Historic reefs

Discover our exhibition >