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Marine turtles in the Africa and Madagascar Region are protected and restored to healthy levels reflecting their intrinsic values, role in ecosystem functioning and benefits to people.

Programme goal
The conservation status of marine turtles in African waters is enhanced through the reduction of threats caused by loss and degradation of critical habitats, unsustainable use, and incidental capture (bycatch).


Target 1 - Habitats
To prevent loss and degradation of critical nesting, inter-nesting and foraging habitats reduced or prevented through WWF will promote and assist
  • Creation and effective management of marine protected areas (MPAs) and
  • Reduction of threats to habitats outside MPAs including through implementation of best practices for nesting beach management

Target 2 - Overexploitation
To enhance measures to control unsustainable use and trade of marine turtles and turtle products enhanced WWF will support activities such as:
  • Information gathering on the dynamics of trade and use of turtles and turtle products
  • Strengthening of legislation & law enforcement including through dissemination and disseminate of awareness materials for amongst enforcers and users on laws and regulations related to marine turtle conservation and trade, and on identification of turtles and turtle products
  • Reduce nest poaching and turtle mortality through support to community-based projects to protect nesting females, nests, and hatchlings and awareness campaigns.

Target 3 - Incidental capture

To reduce levels of bycatch in territorial waters WWF will support activities such as
  • Determination of levels of bycatch by key fisheries (trawlers, set nets and longliners); pilot implementation and training in use of alternative gears and turtle excluder devices (TEDs),
  • Awareness building amongst amongst operators of the impacts of bycatch, and of market interest in "turtle friendly" catches
  • Promotion of better practice in local use of of gill nets in critical areas is managed so as to minimise or prevent incidental catch of turtles

Target 4 - Capacity
To increase capacity for monitoring, research and management of marine turtles and their habitats enhanced WWF will support
  • Information needs for marine turtle management including through training for monitoring and management, disseminate information on standard methodologies for data collection and recording, tagging and genetic studies designed to identify and determine migrations of individual populations, and promotion of regional collaboration on tagging and data sharing
  • Formation of national committees for marine turtle conservation
  • Development of National Marine Turtle Recovery Plans and implementation of priority actions

Leatherback turtle (<i>Dermochelys coriacea</i>) caught in a net. After days of ... 
© WWF / Michel GUNTHER
Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) caught in a net. After days of struggle, it finally drowned after resurfacing a few times.
© WWF / Michel GUNTHER