What You Can Do
Human activity is the single biggest threat to sea turtles. Many of the threats to sea turtles are under our control.
You can help in the following ways:
- Protect coral reefs: when diving, maintain buoyancy control to be sure that you do not touch corals or raise sand from the bottom.
- Observe marine life from a distance. This way you will be able to see natural behavior. Do not disturb sea turtles on land or at sea, do not shine lights on turtles, ride turtles, disturb nests, collect hatchlings, or help nesting turtles back to the sea.
- Keep hazardous materials out of the sea: reduce or stop using chemical fertilizers and pesticides and keep other toxic chemicals from entering the ground or water.
- Do not drive on sandy beaches: incubating eggs can be crushed and ruts can trap hatchlings crawling to the sea.
- Turn off or shield lights at nesting beaches from April through January. Lights can prevent females from nesting and disorient newly-hatched turtles trying to find their way to the sea.
- Do not light fires on beaches: heat and debris can kill fragile turtle eggs.
- Avoid plastic and dispose of plastics appropriately. Buy products wrapped in biodegradable packaging (paper, cardboard, foil). Plastic bags, mistaken for jellyfish, kill sea turtles and other marine life. Discarded plastic degrades into tiny toxic particles that are ingested by marine creatures.
- Do not feed marine wildlife. Feeding marine animals might seem harmless, or even helpful, but it’s not!
- Help with beach cleaning projects. Contact STCB for details or check our Facebook page.
- Report turtles in trouble to STCB’s Hotline at 780-0433.
- Report beach fires, reef destruction, and harassment of wildlife to STINAPA at 717-8444.
- Do not eat seafood or choose seafood that is sustainably harvested. To learn more, go to the Seafood Selector
- Speak up for sea turtles: advocate for laws and practices that protect Bonaire’s natural heritage.
- Help and support Bonaire’s conservation organizations.
Other ways to help…
Fishing Line Dive Volunteer advanced divers are welcome to join us to help remove discarded fishing gear at the North/South Pier. In 2019, the clean-up dives are scheduled for 24 February, 26 May, 16 June, 25 August, 15 September and 24 November. Air tanks are provided by Dive Friends Bonaire.
Nest monitoring patrol During the nesting season (May-November), you can join us for a nest monitoring patrol on Klein Bonaire every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We meet at 6:50am and the patrol normally takes 3-5 hours. Tickets are $40 p.p. ($20 for Bonaire residents with sedula and children <12).
Free public presentation Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, we organize a free public presentation at the Yellow Submarine (Kaya Playa Lechi 24). The presentation starts at 8:00pm. If you’d like to purchase our unique merchandise, please bring cash with you.