The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network (SKSTMN) is a community based nonprofit organization founded in January 2003 which monitors nesting sea turtle populations & acts as an advocate for the strengthening of sea turtle protection laws in St. Kitts. We are working in conjunction with the St. Kitts Fisheries Department and a number of national, regional, and international agencies along with local citizens to develop a long term sea turtle monitoring & protection program. Currently, our leatherback monitoring efforts are concentrated on the 2 primary leatherback nesting beaches & we are conducting early morning & night surveys, & tagging. Hawksbill efforts are concentrated on the main nesting sites and foraging hawksbills and greens are being tagged offshore. The data gathered is being used to promote conservation in order to improve laws & change long-standing attitudes regarding the importance of sea turtles not only to the island's ecosystem but economy.
- To implement a long standing sea turtle conservation management program.
- To promote community awareness of the plight of sea turtles.
- To provide non consumable sources of income to communities as an alternative to the sea turtle harvest in an effort to decrease pressure on SK turtle populations.
- Leatherback Patrols are conducted March through July annually.
- In-water surveys and tagging are conducted twice per week.
- Sea Turtle Camp is held annually at no charge to 100 local children. Other educational presentations are held on request. Typically around 10 are held per year for various groups.
- Former sea turtle fishermen are employed for conservation acitivites as opposed to harvest.
- Morning patrols for sea turtle nesting are conducted year round for all sea turtle species found in St. Kitts (leatherbacks, hawksbills, and greens).
- The recycled glass bead project is one in which beads are formed from recycled glass and used to produce jewelry.
- The SKSTMN is currently working to develop a Sea Turtle Interpretive Center at Keys Beach. This will serve as a base research, conservation, education, and eco-based tourism related to sea turtles and the marine ecosystem.
- The SKSTMN hosts bi-monthly beach cleanups, which result in the removal of around 1,500 to 2,000 lbs of garbage monthly.
- The SKSTMN runs a 24 hour National Sea Turtle Hotline for St. Kitts.
- The SKSTMN rehabilitates sea turtles that strand on our shores. Currently we have 8 patients under our care. With the development of our Interpretive Center we plan to have rehabilitation tanks on site so that the general public can also view the rehabilitation/treatment process.