On Friday, 22 September 2017, during his visit on Boavista S. D. Prince Albert II of Monaco welcomed representatives of our team as well as other local conservation organisations and a group of researchers from Queen Mary University London aboard the research vessel M/V Yersin. The visit of Prince Albert II was part of the three-year “Monaco Explorations” expedition of the Yersin. Together with scientists of the expedition, the Prince discussed with us about questions and challenges related with the protection of the endangered sea turtles of Cape Verde. Afterwards, Prince Albert II visited a field station for sea turtle protection on the southern beaches of Boavista.
Before the meeting began, there was some unplanned excitement because the strong wind of this day caused the large research vessel in the small harbour of Boavista’s capital Sal Rei to sway. Due to the lack of a suitable landing stage, it was not possible to enter directly. But then one of the dinghies of the ship picked us up and the 40-minute meeting could finally begin. All the organisations reported about their projects in short presentations, with our organisation and the turtle protection project on the neighbouring Island of Sal attracting increased attention in the auditorium. The Prince was particularly interested in our children’s environmental education initiative “School in Nature” and our employment program for local rangers. At the end of the conference, a paper was presented to the Prince on behalf of all organisations, which summarised the main challenges and measures to protect the turtles in Cape Verde.