MARINE LIFE PROTECTION
The Coast Guard Turtle Conservation Project (CGTCP) was launched in September 2012 with the purpose of preserving and raising the awareness of sea turtle conservation in Sri Lanka. Further, the Coast Guard action plan includes providing scientific data related to turtle behaviour (nesting, hatchlings, feeding, mating) to those who are conducting researches on these endangered species. The CGTCP is located at Mirissa beach (adjoining Coast Guard Station Rohana) which is considered as one of the most suitable locations for turtle nesting.
The Coast Guard initiative to protect these endangered species have come under praise by local and foreign visitors who have witnessed the dedicated effort the Coast Guard personnel have put in to this project.
FOREIGN TOURISTS VISITING THE CENTER
Among the many different variety of this species, only eight of these ancient reptiles are found living today. Of the eight, Sri Lanka is famous for five kinds of turtle species including Green Turtles, Leatherbacks, Olive Ridleys, Hawksbills and Loggerheads who regularly visit the sandy beaches to nest in Sri Lanka's South beaches including Mirissa beach.
The CGTCP is expected to further expand within the coming few months and thereby provide opportunities for the public to acquire knowledge on this important species.
COAST GUARD EXTENDS IT’S TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT (TCP) TO THE WESTERN REGION
The Sri Lanka Coast Guard, by not restricting turtle conservation to the Southern region only is expanding its projects to the Western region as well by creating hatcheries close to all lifesaving posts in the region.
The Coast Guard TCP is aimed to devise and facilitate sustainable marine turtle conservation through education, research and community participation. One of the most important activities of the project is its hatchery. Within the sanctuary of the project, collected and rescued eggs can hatch safely away from the threats from predators before being released into the sea at night time. In addition, a certain number from each hatching is kept back for a short period for 'head starting' before release. The hatchery is designed to maximize hatchlings reaching the sea and surviving through the critical stages of their early life.
Sri Lanka Coast Guard is extending its horizons in conserving turtles from breeding grounds to safer seas by educating fisher folk and coastal communities through conducting awareness programmes and releasing captured turtles from fishing boats and traps out at sea. Its hatchery produced hatchlings are released at particular times and Sri Lanka Coast Guard warmly welcome foreign and local visitors to experience the thrill of returning thousands of baby turtles to their ‘homes’ in the ocean.