By estimating green and hawksbill turtle distribution and abundance at key foraging grounds, the organisers hope to identify areas in need of better protection, not only in Egypt but throughout the Red Sea.
TurtleWatch Egypt says it is working with local NGOs and dive-centres but relies on volunteer divers for date-collection.
The project started in 2011, but “with the tourism crisis things have slowed down a bit”, says project co-ordinator Agnese Mancini of Boomerang For Earth Conservation, a French non-profit environmental organisation.
Divers in or visiting the Red Sea are invited to contribute to the project through a dedicated Facebook page (facebook.com/turtlewatchegypt). Photographs of both sides of the turtle’s head are required, though that can be a task easier said than done.
The images are needed to identify individuals, the scale patterns on either side being unique to each turtle.
The pictures should be accompanied by the name of the site, dive-centre and dive-guide, the date and your name.
Contributors receive regular updates on the project. More on Boomerang For Earth Conservation here.
Divernet – The Biggest Online Resource for Scuba Divers