Historically, the Cayman Islands was once home to over 2 million sea turtles, hosting one of the world’s largest breeding colonies for Green sea turtles. Green sea turtles are an important Keystone species – critical to sustaining thriving marine ecosystems such as seagrass beds, promoting marine diversity. Early settlers found turtles to be an important source of nourishment and in later years became a source of commerce for Cayman.
The Green sea turtles’ importance to the Cayman Islands is etched all throughout our history, so much so that is regarded as a ‘national symbol’ appearing on our National flag, Coat of Arms, seal, and currency – recognizing this marine wonder’s significant influence on our culture and heritage.
By the early 1900s, these gentle giants had been hunted to the brink of extinction in the Cayman Islands, and today they remain at risk worldwide. Turtles are threatened by climate change, ocean and plastic pollution, and loss of beach habitat where they breed.
Overharvesting of eggs and non-discriminatory commercial fishing are also significant threats.
The Cayman Turtle Conservation and Education Centre is helping save these species, so they will be here for generations to come.
Our work includes
Releasing sea turtles into the ocean
Ensuring the well-being of the turtles in our care
Sustainable husbandry that honors the Caymanian cultural heritage
Conservation education and advocacy, so visitors and islanders alike can be part of the solution