Over the past decades, the Cayman Islands has seen unprecedented economic and development growth that brought many benefits to the islands and the local population. However, this development meant that natural habitats for animals in the Cayman Islands have been compromised. It has been especially disruptive for sea turtles, which tend to nest on prime beachfront property. Additionally, during turtle nesting season, the local turtle population is at serious risk from poaching.
In recent years, the Cayman Turtle Center has had positive results with its turtle release program and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) has had success in helping the recovery of the wild turtle nesting population. However, protecting the nesting turtles and their eggs around-the-clock during nesting season has proven to be a tremendous logistical challenge.
Mike Ridley, a Florida resident who has spent a large part of his life on Grand Cayman, wanted to find a project that could unite people in conservation efforts in the area. Working with the Department of Environment and key Caymanians he identified protecting nesting sea turtles as a problem that could be solved with the application of the right solutions. He spearheaded the effort to apply advanced monitoring and analytic technologies in their protection. He selected a remote beach, Turtle Beach, on the northwest of Grand Cayman, and identified the Netwatch Proactive Video Monitoring Technology as a potential solution.Read More