This report would not have been possible without the kind assistance and participation of many people. The ongoing support of Minister Ing. Edison Briesen (Ministry of Economic Af‑fairs and Tourism), Ing. S. M. Vrolijk, Director, Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and Fisheries (LVV), Drs. H. Baarh (Head, Department of Foreign Affairs and UNEP/CEP National Focal Point), and Cornelius Wilson, Director, Department of Housing, Physical Development and Environment (VROM) is deeply appreciated. We are especially grateful to Drs. Roeland de Kort (Zoologist, VROM; FANAPA), Drs. E. Armando Curet (Policy Adviser, VROM), and the staff of the Costa Linda Hotel for technical information and field assistance. Aldrich Hunt (Fisheries Officer, LVV), Drs. Byron Boekhoudt (Chief Fisheries Officer, LVV), Tim Duncan (dive instructor), John Wardlaw (Operations Mgr., Shore Tours), Frans Weller and Mario Britten (Inspectors, Veterinary Service, Department of Public Health), and Pieter van Grinsven (Chief Engineer, Aruba Beach Club) also generously provided data and participated in habitat and/or interview surveys. Atlantis Submarines kindly provided support in marine habitat surveys offshore Oranjestad. We are grateful to TeleAruba, Radio Carina, and newspaper media for coverage of sea turtle conservation issues and for informative interviews with Dr. Karen Eckert during her visits to Aruba. The Coordinator (TB) extends his particular appreciation to residents who regularly accompanied him on field surveys. The selfless efforts of Olinda van der Linden‑Rasmijn in providing schools with sea turtle conservation lectures have been quite appreciated by the community. Aruba has made significant progress in the arena of sea turtle conservation in the past year, and we are indebted to the regional WIDECAST project 1/.
1/ The WIDECAST regional Recovery Team provided impetus for this document and critiqued earlier drafts. These persons are the following: Lic. Ana Cecilia Chaves (Costa Rica), Dr. Karen L. Eckert (USA), Jacques Fretey (France), Lic. Hedelvy Guada (Venezuela), Dr. Julia A. Horrocks (Barbados), Dr. Peter C. H. Pritchard (USA), Dr. James I. Richardson (USA), and Dr. Georgita Ruiz (Mexico). The IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group (Dr. Karen A. Bjorndal, Chair) and UNEP‑CAR/RCU (Dr. Richard Meganck, Co‑ordinator) reviewed an earlier draft. Major financial support for WIDECAST has come from the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, the U. S. National Marine Fisheries Service (Office of Protected Re‑sources), and the U. S. State Department (Bureau of Oceans and Intl. Environmental and Scientific Affairs/Office of Ocean Affairs). Chelonia Institute provided travel assistance to Dr. K. L. Eckert and to Dr. J. I. Richardson for technical visits during 1993. Special appreciation is due Milton Kaufmann (President of Monitor International and Founder of WIDECAST) for his unwavering personal commitment to WIDECAST since its inception more than a decade ago.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION 15
II. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF SEA TURTLES IN ARUBA 16
Table 3. Number of sea turtles killed at the Aruba abattoir, 1977‑1986. 66
Figure 1. Aruba (12º30'N, 70ºW) is located 32 km (19 miles) north of Venezuela and 67 km (42 miles) west of Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles (source: ECNAMP, 1980). 68
Figure 2. Four species of sea turtle reportedly nest in Aruba: the green turtle or tortuga blanco (Chelonia mydas), the hawksbill or caret (Eretmochelys imbricata), the loggerhead or cawama (Caretta caretta), and the leatherback or driekiel (Dermochelys coriacea). 68
Figure 3. Sea grass and coral reef formations around Aruba. Source: R. de Kort (VROM). 68
Figure 4. Prominent sandy beaches known or suspected to serve as nesting habitat for endangered marine turtles are indicated by stippling. Aruba's two major population centers, Oranjestad and San Nicolas, are shown as large and small stars, respectively. 68
Figure 5. Aruba coastal clean‑up zones, September 1993. Zone numbers correspond to locations provided in Table 4. Source: R. de Kort (VROM). 68