Marine Life Protectors

  Olive Ridley Project Kenya

Diving is our method to identify sea turtles along the coast of Diani  Hawksbill H003 John Koho  Green Turtle G055

The reefs on the south coast of Kenya are home to juvenile green and hawksbill turtles. These populations are particularly threatened by bycatch in artisanal fisheries and by habitat degradation.
ORP is working to protect sea turtles and their habitats to ensure their survival. Our work in Kenya focuses on research and education with the aim to inform conservation policies and improve protection measures in the Marine Protected Areas of Kenya's south coast. We conduct underwater surveys since 2018 to identify and study as many turtles as possible using photo-ID. Our efforts have resulted in a total of 2,000+ individual sightings and the identification of over 500 individual green turtles and 65 individual hawksbills, just along Diani Beach!

Graphic by Leah Mainye, ORP Kenya

Where does ORP Kenya work? The following map shows the never fully established Diani-Chale Marine Reserve in the south of Kenya, stretching from Tiwi in the north to Chale Island at the southern border of the reserve. It is exactly this region where ORP Kenya started monitoring sea turtle populations in 2018.

Graphic by Marine Life Protectors, 2021

Who is ORP Kenya? Currently, ORP Kenya consists of Dr Joana Hancock (Project Manager Kenya), Leah Mainye (Project Coordinator Kenya), and Jenni Choma (Infield Supervisor). We plan to widen out our activities in the south of Kenya in the near future, including the training and supervision of Kenyan biology students who can help us studying and monitoring the local coral reefs, seagrass meadows and sea turtle populations.

In March 2022 ORP Kenya signed an agreement with Pwani University in Kilifi and their Bioscience Research Centre PUBReC to assist their ongoing efforts to better understand the impact and prevalence of Fibropapillomatosis, a virus-induced tumor disease that quite often hits green sea turtles. This exciting new collaboration will also include research relating to population genetics, habitat studies and sea turtle health.

If you like to support us and donate, here's a link to ORP Kenya's fundraiser on  Olive Ridley Project - Kenya