The first day of releasing marine turtles, which was open to the public, attracted nearly 400 people to the Atafona beach center in São João da Barra. For the second summer in a row, residents and summer vacationers had the opportunity to watch the action of the Caretta caretta species, which uses the beaches of the region for spawning. In addition, five other releases are programmed until February. Port of Açu’s initiative is done in partnership with Tamar and the city governments of São João da Barra and Campos. The activity will take place in different places along the coast to reach the entire community as part of the cities’ summer agendas.
The action’s objective is to present Port of Açu’s Marine Turtle Monitoring Program, which has been going on since 2008, and by doing so, to raise the awareness among the whole population about the importance of preservation. In addition to the program’s regular schedule, the Port’s team warned about the risks posed by vehicle traffic on the beaches and swimmers interfering with the nests along the beach.
Soltura 3.jpgFor Daniel Nascimento, Environment Coordinator of the Port of Açu, sharing knowledge with the community is the best way to encourage good environmental practices. “We are very happy with the results of this first meeting with the population. Our mission is to offer information to people so that they can, in turn, spread the good news around. We have had a really positive experience with the public in the last season of spawning. We managed to provide information and environmental awareness to 1,500 people. We would like to reach an even higher number this time,” affirmed Daniel.
Psychologist Dann Kelly Pereira brought her two daughters to watch the release. “They were enchanted. It is the second time that the two have come to see it, but the expression of happiness on the faces of each is always different,” she said.
Soltura 2.jpgIn the Marine Turtle Monitoring Program, monitors cover 62 km (38 miles) of shoreline daily, registering all events related to the turtles. Monitoring efforts range from Pontal de Atafona, in São João da Barra, to Barra do Furado, in Campos dos Goytacazes. During mating season, from September until March, the team is also tasked with locating nests, identifying them and keeping track of them until hatchlings are born.
Since the beginning of the latest mating season, the program reported the birth of about 6,500 hatchlings. In the previous season, there were 87,000 hatchlings in total.
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).