Spotlight on the ' Turtle Man'
If you travel on the south coast of Sri Lanka you may hear of Mr Turtle or The Turtle Man - this man is M.M Saman from Rekawa Turtle Watch. He is an expert on marine turtles and dedicated to their conservation. Saman grew up in a local fishing community.
The Turtle Night Watch programme in Rekawa involves ex turtle egg poachers working as nest protectors and tour guides. It is an excellent example of how ecotourism can contribute to conservation.
Thanks to the Sri Lanka Tourist Board and Sri Lanka Hotel School some of the nest protectors have been trained to work as guides and now have official guide licenses.
If you would like to visit Sr Lanka and include a visit to the project please do let us know.
Name : M.M. Saman
Age: 58 years
Job title: Tour Guide and project coordinator for the Rekawa Turtle Watch programme
What does your job involve? : Guiding the tourists for our 'Turtle Night Watch' programme. I am also in charge of coordinating the in-situ sea turtle nest protection programme.
How long have you done this job? : Since 1996 I've worked as a Research Officer for the turtle nest protection programme at Rekawa. I've worked as a Tour Guide since 2012. I have over 26 years of experience on sea turtle conservation work here at Rekawa.
What do you like about your work? : For me the most important thing is to conserve sea turtle nests naturally on the beach.
What are the challenges ?: Working with fisheries and community members.