The donation will help help Nature Seekers protect the endangered ancient leatherback sea turtles that nest in Trinity
MATURE, Trinidad and Tobago and MONTREAL, September 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – union age covenantled by a tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilvais proud to announce a USD $1.5 million donation to Nature seekersa non-profit community organization in the village of Matura, on the east coast of Trinity, with a focus on the conservation and protection of sea turtles. This will be the largest private donation in Nature Seekers history. Age of Union’s support will be instrumental in protecting endangered leatherback sea turtles, whose nesting sites on Matura Beach are at greater risk than ever due to climate change and pollution.
Matura Beach is one of the world’s last major turtle nesting sites for leatherback turtles, which have existed for over 100 million years, dating back to the age of the dinosaurs. These massive creatures, as long as 2.2 meters, are the largest species of sea turtle in the world and also one of the most migratory, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. New GPS technology allowed scientists to track their movements, and many migrated to from Canada Atlantic coasts for a few years where they feed on the abundant jellyfish every summer and every autumn.
The population of these turtles has declined significantly over the past century due to intensive egg collection, poaching, fishing bycatch, habitat loss, climate change and much more. They are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. Nature Seekers, which has been working to conserve these turtles for more than 30 years, desperately needed help after pandemic beach closures nearly wiped out their historic sources of income.
Age of Union funds will help Nature Seekers:
- Patrolling and protecting the nesting site throughout the annual season to maintain or increase adult and hatchling leatherback survival rates. New drone technology will now expand their capabilities.
- Collect data during the nesting season better understand the physical health of the nesting population and monitor the inter-nesting movements and migration of satellite-tagged turtles. This work is carried out in partnership with Dr. Michael James from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Sea Turtle Network.
- Collect data and assess the potential impacts of climate change on the turtle population at the Matura nesting site; create climate change adaptation and/or mitigation plans.
- Design and deploy artificial hatcheries promote the survival of nests at risk and allow the collection of new data sets.
- Increase community engagement and provide opportunities for sustainable livelihood activities that align with conservation goals, such as becoming a ranger to patrol the beach during nesting season.
This is the ninth conservation project announced by Age of Union in less than a year after Dax Dasilva initial pledge of $40 million. Today’s announcement also aligns with World premiere by Age of Union of its short documentary CAUGHT in Toronto the evening of September 12. In partnership with Sea Shepherd, this film reveals the shocking consequences of industrial fishing and over-consumption, depleting ocean ecosystems, with a particular look at the bycatch of dolphins off the coast France.
“When I first met Susan BaptistExecutive Director of Nature Seekers, I was incredibly inspired by her determination and perseverance to help transform this coastal community into Trinity from turtle poaching to turtle conservation. We hope that with the help of Age of Union, Nature Seekers will now be better equipped to protect these beautiful endangered turtles who, through their incredible migratory journeys, also have ties to Canada.” – Dax DasilvaFounder of Age of Union.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for this generous gift from Age of Union. Leatherback Sea Turtles are recognized as a keystone species, and their disappearance could have global consequences for our oceans and their ecosystems. Now, with the help of Age of Union, these turtles have an incredible chance of survival.” – Susan BaptistManaging Director of Nature Seekers
“The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries looks forward to continuing conversations with the High Commission for Canada and Mr. Dasilva to improve the sector and by extension Trinidad and Tobago.” – Kazim HosinHonorable Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries
“The government and people of Trinidad and Tobago sincerely appreciate the support of Age of Union for their conservation initiatives in the country. We are committed to working with Dax Dasilva and his team, exploring opportunities for broader collaboration across the environment and technology sectors and beyond.” – Senator Dr Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM of Trinidad and Tobago
“The Age of Union conservation project for leatherback turtles is an excellent example of Canadian-Trinbagonian cooperation in environmental conservation.” – Kumar Guptahigh commissioner of Canada at Trinidad and Tobago
About the Age of Union Alliance
Age of Union is a non-profit environmental alliance that supports and gives visibility to a global community of changemakers working on the ground to protect the planet’s threatened species and ecosystems. Launched in October 2021 by a tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva in Montreal Canada with an initial $40 million commitment, Age of Union seeks to ignite a flame in every person through conservation efforts that solve critical environmental challenges around the world and inspire high-impact change by showcasing the positive impact each individual can have.
About Nature Seekers
Nature Seekers is a non-profit community organization founded in 1990 and located in the village of Matura, on the east coast of Trinity in the south Caribbean. Its main objective is the conservation and protection of sea turtles that nest in the area, including the leatherback turtle. Over a period of more than 30 years, Nature Seekers has helped move this coastal community from turtle poaching to turtle conservation.
Anna Lucie Smith
SOURCE Age of Union Alliance