Train­ing for Co­conut Bay staff in man­age­ment of sea turtle pop­u­la­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

With the on­set of the 2017 sea turtle nest­ing sea­son, the man­age­ment of Co­conut Bay Beach Re­sort & Spa, with the sup­port of lo­cal De­part­ment of Fish­eries, con­ducted an ori­en­ta­tion and train­ing work­shop for staff mem­bers on the man­age­ment of the sea turtle pop­u­la­tion. The work­shop, held on Wed­nes­day, March 22, tar­geted staff mem­bers drawn from the ho­tel’s Kids Klub, se­cu­rity, en­ter­tain­ment, grounds, pools and guest re­la­tions de­part­ments.

This work­shop is staged as a yearly ac­tiv­ity aimed at equip­ping staff with the nec­es­sary knowl­edge to en­able them to re­spond in an in­formed and ef­fec­tive man­ner to turtle nest­ing and hatch­ing events. Last week’s work­shop was held to co­in­cide with the turtle nest­ing sea­son which runs from April to Oc­to­ber each year.

Par­tic­i­pants in the work­shop were pro­vided with “know-how” on as­pects such as: iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of species and tracks, life cy­cle, nest­ing in­for­ma­tion and habits, sal­vaging, cus­tody and re­lease of dis­ori­ented hatch­lings, data col­lec­tion, etc.

Some ten staff mem­bers ben­e­fit­ted from the work­shop which was con­ducted by Yvonne Ed­win and Shanna Em­manuel from the De­part­ment of Fish­eries.

The two and a half mile stretch of beach which runs par­al­lel to Co­conut Bay re­sort is used each year as a nest­ing ground by sea tur­tles. Co­conut Bay se­cu­rity and staff are en­gaged each year in an ac­tive pro­gramme of turtle mon­i­tor­ing with the sup­port and col­lab­o­ra­tion of the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and the Saint Lu­cia Na­tional Trust.

Co­conut Bay has ini­ti­ated dis­cus­sions with the De­part­ment of Fish­eries to­wards strength­en­ing the ho­tel’s in­volve­ment in mon­i­tor­ing ef­forts. The ho­tel is keen on part­ner­ing with, and pro­vid­ing sup­port to, the De­part­ment of Fish­eries as it re­lates to the pro­tec­tion of sea tur­tles. As part of its on­go­ing ef­forts, Co­conut Bay re­cently erected an im­pres­sive Turtle In­for­ma­tion Bill­board on prop­erty for the ben­e­fit of vis­i­tors and to keep them in­formed about turtle events.

Co­conut Bay staff re­ceiv­ing tips dur­ing last week’s train­ing ex­er­cise.

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