Our Programs

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ICAPO is making strides in hawksbill conservation, strides that promise success for the future of the species: Saving nests, recovering eggs and nurturing hatchlings. Gathering data and discovering new information about the species that informs new methodologies and policies. Converting poachers to protectors in the region and helping local communities and families find other means of livelihood.

Our Programs

Nesting Beach Conservation

Maximize the number of eggs that result in hatchlings to increase the overall hawksbill population.

  • Protect hawksbill nests from poaching and other elements (feral animals, climactic events).
  • Collect data on nesting female turtles (flipper-tagging, measuring and more), hatchlings and nest performance to better understand hawksbill biology and life-history, mostly by employing local inhabitants as staff.

In-water Monitoring

Better understand hawksbill biology and life history:

  • Consistently use tangle-nets, visual surveys or hand captures to understand hawksbill turtles in the marine environment (foraging habitats).
  • Gain insights into residency times, growth rates and dietary requirements of hawksbills, as well as connectivity between nesting and foraging areas.


Fisheries Bycatch Research/Reduction

(Accidental capture by industrial and artisanal fisheries) Learn fishery dynamics and trends:

  • Work with fishermen to quantify hawksbill bycatch in industrial or artisanal fisheries via onboard fisheries’ observations or data collected at fishing ports.
  • Evaluate non-turtle bycatch and seek alternative, sustainable fishing gear.


Facilitate tourism to conservation areas:

  • Provide alternative sources of income to local community members by increasing tours and providing room and board to tourists and travel representatives.
  • Increase tourism to reduce extraction and/or unsustainable use of natural resources, including turtles and their habitats.

Conduct local and international studies:

  • Develop environmental conflict management, conservation policy and community-based resource management.
  • Study interactions of primary resource users with hawksbills and their habitat.

Exploratory Habitat Investigations

Identify new and important habitats for hawksbill turtles:

  • Visit coastal communities and fishing ports to conduct interview surveys with local inhabitants and glean information on potentially important sites for hawksbills.
  • Conduct opportunistic in-water and beach monitoring to identify important foraging areas and nesting beaches.

Protected Area Management

Improve and/or restore marine turtle habitats:

  • Work directly with governmental institutions, non-profit organizations and/or community members to improve management and performance of protected areas, including parks, refuges, sanctuaries and reserves.
  • Work directly with local stakeholders to improve/restore habitat.

Outreach and Education

Specific activities to:

  • Raise awareness.
  • Provide education on hawksbills, oceans and general environmental stewardship.

Policy Advocacy

Change laws and policies:

  • Provide greater benefits to marine turtles.
  • Advance the natural habitats on which marine turtles depend.