JET Info Centre
In September 2009, Christine O'Sullivan from JET visited the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project in Antigua to learn sea turtle monitoring methods with funding for the World Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (WSPA). With help from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and Melvyn Tennant, who monitors Gibraltar Beach in St. Mary (the only Jamaican turtle nesting beach that was actively being monitored at the time) JET then hosted a sea turtle monitoring workshop for other non-government organizations and academic institutions in September 2009. This workshop led to the formation of the Jamaica Sea Turtle Project with the aim of identifying additional sea turtle nesting beaches across Jamaica. JET also hoped to implement an island-wide education and awareness programme to highlight the threats currently faced by sea turtles and to stop the poaching of eggs and adult turtles.
In 2010, JET received funding from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and Sally Thomas to implement, coordinate and manage a sea turtle monitoring project in three parishes: Portland, St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland. We collaborated with the Portland Environment Protection Association, the Bluefields Bay Fishermen's Friendly Society, and the Treasure Beach Turtle Group. We were also assisted by Dr Karen Eckert of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network (Widecast). In 2011 we received funds from Canada Fund to add an additional site in Portland.
Under the EFJ project, community members and NGOs received training in sea turtle biology and monitoring and equipment such as headlamps, handheld gps units, latex gloves, rechargeable batteries, digital and disposable cameras ad well as waterproof paper was given to the groups. Monitoring began in May of the 2011 turtle nesting season. Almost immediately, JET started to receive reports from the communities about turtles – sightings, false crawls and nesting. We created a Facebook page – Save Jamaica's Sea Turtles – so that we could report on turtle nesting or hatching success in the communities for the general public.
JET has submitted the data gathered on the 2011 nesting season to NEPA. JET hopes to raise additional funding to extend this project to other coastal communities across Jamaica, engaging all citizens in efforts to save our sea turtles.
Please see below a few of the publications and presentations we have produced on sea turtles:
- Sea turtle monitoring in Jamaica - October 2011 (PDF - 2MB)
- Earth Facts - Sea Turtles (PDF - 1.7 MB)
- Sea Turtle Field Guides - (8 MB)