Monaco Explorations is on mission in Les Anses d’Arlet, Martinique from October 2nd – October 12th, 2018. Together with CNRS and Ifremer, we are working to capture turtles and collect data and samples. The information obtained helps with developing and implementing more effective threat mitigation measures. While we are working on the scientific project, Carbet des Sciences and our partners at Institut Océanographique are hosting local student groups participating in Martinique’s ‘Marine Educational Area Program’ to provide education and experience relating to turtle conservation.
The scientific project is conducted in partnership with local institutions and is part of the National Action Plan (NAP) for the Protection of Marine Turtles in Martinique (coordinated by the Office National des Forêts (ONF) and Direction de l’environnement de l’Amenagement et du Logement (DEAL) Martinique).
The objectives of the project are:
- To study the trophic ecology of the three marine turtle species (Green Turtle, Hawksbill, and Leatherback)
- Follow their population dynamics (capture-marking-recapture) on areas of development and laying
- Monitor the growth of immature individuals
- Assess the age/ aging rate of individuals in relation to the quality of the habitat
- Determine the energy expenditure allocated to each activity in relation to the characteristics of the habitat
- Identify the species consumed and their energetic quality
- Study the role of Green Turtles in the expansion, stabilization, or disappearance of Halophila stipulacea (invasive phanerogam) in Martinique and the French West Indies
- Study the impact of contaminants on the physiology of sea turtles
- Study the genetic diversity of immatures of each species on developmental areas
- Learn migration strategies according to oceanographic conditions