During our recent trip to Bali we had the incredible opportunity to volunteer at a sea turtle rescue center with GoEco. This was our second time working with these amazing creatures, and once we arrived on the stunning shores of Nusa Penida, just off the coast of Bali, we were both ready to get straight into the action!
What’s Threatening Sea Turtles?
Unfortunately, the same species attempting to save sea turtles are also their biggest threat – humans. Currently three out of the seven species of sea turtles are critically endangered, two are endangered and one is considered vulnerable. Many sea turtles are accidentally caught in fishing nets and drown. Others are killed and sold on the black market for their meat and eggs. Garbage and beach development are two more human-created threats that are pushing sea turtles toward extinction.
This is why we need to do something about it now, before it is too late!
A Different Approach to Sea Turtle Conservation
If you have been following along on our adventures for a while now you may already know that last year we visited Costa Rica and volunteered for a week at one of their Sea Turtle Conservation Projects, however they did things a little differently than they do here in Bali.
The major problem Costa Rica faces is poachers. Each night “fishermen” would quietly sneak onto the beach and search for fresh nests. They would then take all the eggs and sell them to the black market. This meant our job would be at night, patrolling the beaches and looking for turtles laying eggs so we could find the eggs first and keep them safe until they hatch.
In Bali they do not have the same poaching problems. Instead their goal is to get more sea turtles reaching adulthood, however only 1 in every 1200 sea turtles will have that opportunity. To try increase these odds the hatchlings are not released straight away, they are instead nurtured until they are around 1 year old before being released, giving them a chance to hopefully reach maturity and lay eggs of their own someday.
Sea Turtle Rescue: What To Expect
We were located on a small island off the coast of Bali called Nusa Penida, living with others from around the world all here to do their part in saving these incredible animals. Our days were spent feeding the turtles, cleaning their tanks, collecting corals for the sanctuary, collecting seaweed and small crabs for the turtles, looking after sick or injured turtles and patrolling the beach for turtle eggs.
The best day of the week is Friday. This is when any turtles that are ready for release are taken to the pristine shores of the island and let go, hoping that one day it will return to lay eggs of its own.
Here are a few things we got up to during our time volunteering at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center…
The Sea Turtle Sanctuary decorated by past volunteers
Caring for little hatchlings
Feeding time for the little ones
Cleaning out the sea turtle tanks
It’s bath time!
Beach clean ups
Collecting seaweed for the sea turtles midday snack
Collecting crabs for the sea turtles mid-afternoon snack
Volunteering in Paradise
Organising Volunteering Abroad
If you are interested in volunteering abroad we feel the best way to do this is with an organisation that can set you up with a project of your choice. We teamed up with GoEco who help people that want to volunteer abroad do just that. You simply tell them what kind of volunteering you are interested in experiencing and what country you would like to travel to and they will help find you your perfect project.
If you are interested in the volunteer project we experienced check out the Bali Sea Turtle Rescue with GoEco.
As always, we filmed our entire experience here at the project. If you want to see exactly what it’s like to rescue sea turtles in Indonesia you can watch our experience below.
Day 1: Best Job in the World
Day 2: Cleaning Baby Sea Turtles
Day 3: Volunteering in Paradise
You can book your volunteer experience in Bali for $900USD per person, for two weeks.
Have you ever volunteered abroad? We would love to read about your experience below.
Thank you to Go Eco for allowing us to experience this incredible volunteer project in Bali. Our opinion is, as always, our own.
READ NEXT: SAVING BABY SEA TURTLES IN COSTA RICA