Conservation researcher
Ana Rita Patrício

Okinka di Mar

Project name

Okinka di Mar: consolidation of sea turtle conservation at the Bijagós archipelago, Guinea-Bissau

Period of project

01/2018 - 09/2022

Funding body

MAVA Foundation


The Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau, hosts one of the largest green turtle Chelonia mydas populations worldwide, with key nesting beaches and foraging areas. The main threats to this population are the consumption of sea turtle meat by the local population, the intentional and incidental captures by fishing vessels, and the degradation of the nesting habitat due to coastal erosion, flooding and increase of marine debris.

This project is led by the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau (IBAP,, and the main aims of our project are: 1. to reduce sea turtle mortality at the breeding sites, and 2. to minimize habitat disturbance inside the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The aims will be achieved essentially by improving the management of the MPAs through capacity building of national technicians, by providing new GPS data on marine turtle inter-nesting habitat use and post-nesting migratory routes for an update of the MPA zoning, by acquiring data on beach erosion and flooding risk applying novel approaches using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and prhotogrametry analysis, and through the engagement of the local communities in the management and conservation of sea turtles.