SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Friday, August 7, 2009

How it all began...

We arrived on Sal in mid-June in 2007, Neal had a job with Manta Diving and Jacquie had a vague idea about making a film to do with turtles. Walking on the beaches it soon became clear that there was a big problem since the only turtles we saw were dead turtles. In the meantime, Juan Blanco, the manager of ScubaCaribe had started a hatchery outside the dive centre (with the help of Natura 2000) in an effort to try to save some of the nests. Once Juan and Jacquie met things started to move swiftly, the Camara Municipal do Sal had a protection programme with soldiers running already but were keen to get help and the environmental technician quickly joined the group. Our progress would have been a lot slower had it not been for a series of coincidences. Matthias Schmelz, a visitor to the island became incensed when he saw a restaurant with many turtles packed into a concrete tank for public display - so incensed that he took matters into his own hands and put the turtles in the sea. Although it hardly seems feasible, he was arrested! Matthias was working with Patricia, who is married to Nuno who is the owner of Manta Diving, so in this way we also got to hear about the incident. Matthias and Jacquie met and Matthias decided that he would support our project with a generous grant spread out over almost two years. This committment gave us the confidence to move forward and there is no doubt that without it things would have moved much more slowly and we could not have achieved the results we did in 2008. Matthias's company, Rainbow manufactures revolutionary vacuum cleaners

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