Sea Turtles 911 – Hainan Normal University

Sea Turtles 911 Founder, Frederick Yeh, and U.S. Ambassador, Max Baucus, Release Satellite Tagged Turtle
Concept: 

The Sea Turtles 911-Hainan Normal University EcoPartnership aims to empower local communities to safeguard the health of the ocean, through 1) environmental monitoring of persistent organic pollutants (POP) and climate change impacts on marine turtles using gas chromatography, satellite tracking, and laparoscopy; 2) habitat restoration of sea grass beds using aquaculture techniques; and 3) ecotourism development for Chinese tourists to observe marines turtles in nature.

On January 15th, Sea Turtles 911 founder, Frederick Yeh, was joined by U.S. Ambassador Baucus and volunteers to release two satellite tagged turtles into the South China Sea. Under the auspices of the EcoPartnership, the movements of these turtles will be tracked for conservation research purposes. The satellite data will provide vital information on where to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to focus sea turtle conservation efforts efficiently. For more information, please visit the links below.

Work Plan: 
Task 1 Establish Baseline Monitoring Data in China for Sea Turtle Conservation Research
Current baseline data from sea turtle research in the China region remain sparse to adequately monitor ecological risks and disturbances. Conservation research studies on marine turtles within or near Chinese waters will be conducted to provide a yardstick with which to gauge and alert potential changes attributable to disease or ecological hazards.
Task 2 Establish U.S.-China Sea Turtle Conservation Exchange Programs
Cross-cultural educational programs in the U.S. and China will be developed and implemented to build capacity for long-term marine turtle conservation efforts. This will include launching promotional films of celebrities with marine turtles in nature in Hawaii by September 2016 to coincide with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress.
Task 3 Train Enforcement Agencies to Efficiently Combat the Illegal Trade of Marine Turtles
The U.S. will share its expertise in multinational wildlife trafficking enforcement operations with China through enforcement training workshops so that China will have the capacity to strengthen implementation of international agreements and arrangements that protect sea turtles, positioning the country as an international team player in one of the most urgent issues worldwide.
Task 4 Develop Sustainable Aquaculture Systems to Open New Seafood Trade Markets
China will develop integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems and other sustainable aquaculture practices with the U.S. to reduce the incentives for sea turtle farming, which removes wild turtles from natural habitats. By improving the environmental conditions for fish production, local fishermen would increase economic opportunities by trading with new markets insisting upon sustainable seafood products.
Task 5 Develop Monitoring and Evaluation Systems throughout Project Implementation
The project will develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation system that encompasses data collection, data analysis, and sharing and application of results. Ultimately, monitoring and evaluation systems should lead to change and should be taken into account in the planning stage of new activities.