Sea turtles have been swimming around these waters for 100 million years – but they are threatened by hunting, the removal of eggs, light and noise pollution, and waste in the ocean. SOS Tobago is a community-based organisation working to protect Tobago’s turtles and their habitat. They carry out beach patrols, the monitoring of the turtles and community education initiatives
Booking a turtle watching tour through SOS Tobago contributes to their work. They also offer longer-term volunteer placements; these are free, but volunteers must be over 21 and able to commit to a minimum of three weeks – longer periods are preferred. Training is provided, and SOS can recommend local guesthouses for the volunteers to stay in. Having turtle volunteers active living in the community, contributing to the local economy and speaking about their work is an effective way of raising awareness of turtle conservation
– as well as demonstrating their importance as a tourist attraction, deterring would-be poachers. Education programmes are also carried out in schools – passing the eco baton onto the next generation.