Shortly before the end of another nesting season by marine turtles, Açu Port has helped more than 80,000 hatchlings to reach the sea, along 62 km of coast — from Pontal de Atafona to Farol de São Thomé, in Campos dos Goytacazes. About 85% of them belonged to the Caretta caretta species, known as loggerhead and very common in the region. Nests made by Eretmochlys imbricata individuals, the hawksbill turtles, were also identified, but represented just 2% of all. The effort was carried out by the Marine Turtle Monitoring Program, managed since 2008 by Açu Port and supported by the Tamar Project.
“We are so proud of this project. It results from a great effort involving biologists, vets and beach monitors. Every day, teams run through different stretches of sand, registering reproductive and non-reproductive events by marine turtles, ensuring the birth of hatchlings. We have achieved very positive results,” said oceanographer João Teixeira, Açu Port’s sustainability manager.
During nesting season, Açu Port coordinated eight releases that were attended by more than 1,500 people, through a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of São João da Barra and the Tamar Project. About 300 hatchlings were released. Additionally, in line with environmental education commitment efforts, associates of the enterprise offered 11 lectures to children and teenagers who were on vacation, invited by the City of São João da Barra. Biologist Tatiane Bittar, coordinator of the Turtle Monitoring Program, participated in the actions. “It is so emotional to feel that we can pass on to children the importance of taking care of the environment. During releases, you can see their eyes sparkle when in touch with hatchlings and their curiosity when learning something new,” she said.
Port associates often asked to take their children and relatives to turtle releases. Hence, the latest activity by the enterprise focused on the internal public and their families. About 60 people participated in the meeting, which took place in front of Atafona beach, in São João da Barra. As soon as he got the invitation, João Geminiani, a lawyer, decided to take his 7-year-old daughter to the event. “I am so happy for the opportunity to bring my daughter here and introduce her to the environmental preservation culture. I am sure that this experience will lead her to be an adult with an environmental conscience,” Açu Port’s legal counselor said.
The Marine Turtle Monitoring Program follows technical guidelines set by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), Tamar and the State’s Environment Institute (INEA).