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Local Footballers Protect Ghana’s Sea Turtles

The coast of Ghana is home to five of the world’s endangered sea turtles, which are threatened by fishing nets and poachers who sell their meat and eggs. To help revive the turtle populations, a group of young footballers have taken it upon themselves to guard turtle nests and rescue turtles captured by fishermen. Empty sea turtle shells are commonly found on the beach along Ghana’s coastal Gomoa Fetteh community. The World Wildlife Fund says six out of the seven species of sea turtles are endangered. Peter Kusaana of the Environmental Justice Foundation says five of those species used to nest in Ghana, but the numbers have reduced. “Over the years, we are only now recording about four or three of these species nesting in Ghana, meaning that we have already lost two of these turtle species in Ghana,” he said. Fishermen here say about 50 turtles are killed every year along the eight-kilometer shoreline, drowned in fishing nets or poached for their meat and eggs. The Fetteh Youngsters Football Club since 2019 has taken it upon themselves to protect the turtles. During nesting season, the football team patrols the beaches from dusk until dawn to ward off poachers and other predators that would harm nesting turtles or their eggs. The players also engage the turtle meat sellers and fishing community to educate them on the importance of protecting marine life.

SOURCE: VOA

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