The purpose of this project is to support capacity building of a marine turtle program in Morocco, and assess the status of nesting turtles along the entire Moroccan coastline and fisheries sea turtle bycatch. Juvenile loggerhead turtles from the U.S. nesting population are known to spend part of their lifecycle in foraging grounds in the Western Mediterranean and Moroccan coastal waters. The intent of this project is to determine and address threats to nesting populations and reduce bycatch mortality from artisanal and industrial fisheries. Activities include: (1) surveying 1,000 km of coastline from Agadir to Dakhla and conducting in-depth interviews with fishermen to determine historic and current nesting; (2) training fishermen and biologists from the National Institute for Fisheries Research to participate in a sea turtle stranding network; (3) recruiting and training ten fishermen from trawl and seine fisheries in five regions to collect sea turtle bycatch data; (4) conducting an outreach and awareness campaign; and (5) extensive market surveys to determine the commercial utilization of sea turtle products. (2017-2021)

Former Project Titles:

  • Building Capacity for an Effective Sea Turtle Conservation Program in the Kingdom of Morocco (2013-2014)
    • This project will support capacity building and outreach and education activities with local fishermen, university students and government officials, to assess sea turtle bycatch impacts from coastal fisheries.
  • Building Capacity for an Effective Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Program in the Kingdom of Morocco (2011-2012)
    • This grant will support interviews and ground surveys to determine the status of sea turtle nesting in Morocco. The grantee will hold workshops for fishers to assist with data collection on sea turtle bycatch, provide outreach to coastal communities and the general public, and conduct training workshops for student, NGO and local biologists to assist with surveys and sea turtle conservation projects.

Note: It seems there was a 3-year gap of implementation between 2014 and 2017.