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PILOT: Laguna Turtle Foundation

The Sea Turtle Release project aims to raise funds and awareness in support of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and Third Naval Area Command, Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Release Program– A program that includes a study of nesting behavior and tracking and analysis of turtle migration via microchips attached to released turtles.

Since 1994, more than 30,000 USD (over 1 million Thai Baht) has been raised and donated to their research program. In 2008 the turtle release event raised over 5,000 USD (over 170,000 Thai Baht).

The turtle Release programme predominantly includes Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas), Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate). Another species found in this region is the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), but this is now so rare that there is no dedicated programme.

The turtle release event attracts large audiences from the local community and the resort’s international clientele. The initial aim of the project was to release juvenile turtles into the Indian Ocean in the hope of increasing the future number of nesting turtles. As the results have yielded little benefit thus far the research direction has changed to invest more heavily in the tracking research and less in the number of turtles that are released. It is hoped that this knowledge increase will further the efforts for turtle conservation.


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