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Freeing turtles at Catalonia Gran Dominicus

Our guests at Catalonia Bayahibe were the witness of an incredible experience.

As part of our ecological projects based on social responsibility and with the intention of contributing a grain of sand to the conservation of the natural resources of the Dominican Republic, last January the 12 we successfully released 107 Carey turtles on the beach of our resort Catalonia Gran Dominicus in Bayahibe.

This beautiful event was led by the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies (FUNDEMAR), the participation of the Provincial Environment Directorate of La Romana and the administrator of the Cotubanamá National Park, in addition, we had the presence of officials from the presidential party of the country.

In September of 2016, we became luxury accommodation for two Carey turtles that arrived at our beach to nest. The check in was in the hands of one of our security agents, who was inspecting the area and detected the presence of these unexpected guests.

After he reported his discovery, we set about protecting and isolating the area where “Mia the turtle” ( the name was given by its discoverer) dug, spawned and covered its 131 eggs, to prevent that the incubation was affected in any way. We also communicated with the institutions that helped us take the correct actions to look out for this marine family.

Similarly, as part of the support and in order to strengthen FUNDEMAR’s commitment to the conservation of marine resources, we were given a course on how to manage nests and how to act when observing spawning. This training was given by Omar Shamir Reynoso, who thanked the high commitment of the staff of Catalonia Hotels & Resorts for the preservation of the environment.

In this sense, on November 30, we released a total of 119 turtles in the Bayahibe beach, hoping that the survival rate will be high and that this act will be inspiring to others and we hope that we can repeat the action whenever possible, reaching a successfully the target.

Both events were made with the presence of our guests who applauded the work done and with big smiles on their faces captured memories with their mobiles. Some volunteers from our staff were assigned the task of explaining to those present the indications of care we should have when releasing them, for example, that we should not help them or push them on their way to the sea, as they must achieve this alone with their own effort.

The feeling of participating in this act can not only be described as beautiful, but its relevance is further emphasized when remembering that it is a species that is in critical danger of extinction (IUCN), because for years it has been Intensely persecuted to consume their eggs, the meat and to sell its shell, with which handicrafts are made.

The hawksbill turtle is part of our wildlife, its capture and trade are penalized by Dominican laws. Therefore, it is the obligation of each citizen to preserve and protect it. It is important to note that a turtle needs to reach at least 8 years of age to achieve its reproductive maturity, a situation difficult to achieve because the vast majority are captured by predators, among which the main ones are humans

Recommendations for releasing sea turtles

  • Locating the nests helps to dislodge the sand that covers them.
  • Carefully take the small turtles and place them in plastic containers.
  • Flatten the sand and free them a few meters from the sea so that they themselves find their way.
  • We recommend that if you find a nest casually, you go to an expert foundation for a better teamwork.
  • Also, consider using antibacterial gel before and after release.
  • If you are going to take pictures, turn off the flash of your camera as this can affect the turtles.
  • Finally, we thank you because of your photos and videos this action has reached all parts of USA, Canada, Europe, and Russia. In addition to helping the conservation of a species, it is a time where you can feel part of nature and its life cycles, something that you will remember forever.