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leatherback turtles

UN News/Lulu Gao

On patrol with the group protecting turtles in Trinidad and Tobago

Conserving marine resources takes centre stage this week at the first-ever Ocean Conference being held at UN Headquarters in New York.

Dianne Penn recently travelled to Trinidad and Tobago and learned how a group called Nature Seekers, which has received UN funding, is protecting leatherback turtles which previously were butchered for their meat or even just for fun.

Leatherback turtles get their name from their soft shell and are the biggest turtle species on Earth, weighing up to 2,000 pounds.

UN News/Lulu Gao

Turtle advocate from Trinidad spurs sea change in her community

A woman who was once called crazy for protecting sea turtles from poachers has helped to make her community a model for marine conservation in the Caribbean.

Suzan Lakhan Baptiste is Managing Director of Nature Seekers, a non-profit conservation group in the fishing village of Matura in Trinidad and Tobago, where female leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs between April and August.

Ms Lakhan Baptiste encountered ridicule and resistance when she first began standing up for the turtles nearly 30 years ago.

UN News/Lulu Gao

Ocean Conference: Trinidad village protects leatherback turtles

An environmental group based in Trinidad and Tobago that has received UN support has become a model for marine conservation in the Caribbean.

Since 1990, Nature Seekers has helped turn the tide on the slaughter of leatherback turtles, the biggest turtles on Earth.

Marine issues top the global agenda next week when the UN hosts the Ocean Conference from 5-9 June at its Headquarters in New York.

Dianne Penn reports.

Duration: 3’13”