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200616-apm-terminals-begins-its-turtle-conservation-program-for-2020

APM Terminals begins its Turtle Conservation Program for 2020

APM Terminals begins their yearly Turtle Conservation Program which, this year, aims to rescue 100 nests (the equivalent of around 10,000 turtle eggs) for Baula turtles, species in danger of extinction.

The nesting season, for these turtles, started this past April and the first hatchlings were expected to be released by the third week of May.

Due the security measures established because of COVID-19, night patrols were prohibited on the beach of Moín; however, thanks to a group of company employees that live near the beach, it has been possible for them to collect the eggs at night and deliver them to the hatchery in the early morning. This is where the eggs are sheltered, in nests similar to ones the turtle makes, to be released soon after. 

“Despite the emergency we are living due to the pandemic, we have centered all our efforts to make this program one of our priorities, due to its social and environmental impact. We are happy that this year we are giving thousands of turtles the opportunity to be born in a safe and nurtured environment, and the chance to go back to the ocean” highlighted Tammy Spencer, Sustainability and CSR Coordinator of APM Terminals. 

Environmental Management Plan

The Turtle Conservation Program, part of the Environmental Management Plan (PGA) and the APM Terminals Corporate Social Responsibility Program (CSR), began in February 2015 and is focused on the  protection of sea turtle eggs on the beach perimeter that extends from the mouth of the Moín river to the mouth of the Matina river.

From 2015 to 2019 the program was responsible for helping with the release of 70,000 Baula turtles, a number that represents 75% of the rescued eggs. This protection reduces the impact of looting and illegal trade and increases the survival rate of turtle hatchlings. 

There are three types of sea turtles that arrive on the 15 km beach in Moín: Baula, which nests between February and July; Carey, between May and September; and Green, from June to October. So far, over 90 nests have been collected.

The rescue program also seeks to instill amongst the community the importance of not consuming turtle meat or eggs, as well as the protection of these species at risk by involving the neighbors, APM Terminals employees, students form public schools and the local police to participate in the release of these eggs. However, due to the current situation, this year the company is working on a special protocol for the release and the education part of the program will be carried out as soon as the authorities allow it.  

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