Freddie, the kids and I have just returned from a wonderful break visiting my Mum and Dad in the BVI where we lapped up a lot of vitamin D and had the most wonderful quality family time.
Almost every afternoon, Etta and Artie would beg us to take them turtle spotting. I love this video of the kids spotting a little remora (sometimes known as a ‘suckerfish’) catching a ride on the back of a turtle. Talk about co-operation and harmony!
As we hear more and more about the decimation of biodiversity and the effects of climate change, I think it’s increasingly important for children to see how precious our planet is with their own eyes. Hopefully this will help them understand exactly why we need to protect it.
The BVI really is a natural wonderland where you can truly see and feel how connected people are to the planet. It’s such a precious and vulnerable environment, and it’s heart-breaking to hear about how the number of marine turtles returning to nest each year in the region has been dwindling.
Thankfully, things started to look up this season with more and more turtles returning to the island to nest thanks to a combination of various conservation and advocacy efforts.
One of my favourite spots on Necker is Turtle Beach – a protected area where turtles can nest and breed in peace.
Each year in the BVI, the same turtles will return to the same beach where they were born in a cycle that can continue for generations. In a lot of ways it reminds me of my own family waddling up the Necker sand and serves as a strong reminder of our co-existence with the natural world and makes our conservation efforts seem ever more vital.
Turtles have called our planet home for 100 million years. Now, their future is being threatened by climate change, habitat destruction, unsustainable fishing methods, increased pollution and hunting.
Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, six are internationally classified as vulnerable. Four of these species call the BVI home, including the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle.
It’s our responsibility to protect turtles - and all vulnerable species - from extinction, particularly when we visit their natural habitats.
It’s time to turn back to nature, before it’s too late.