Observing Dolphins & Turtles – Afternoon
Departure in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm
Reservations to see the turtles must be made 48 hours before the sea outing.
Reservation days are subject to change, and are selected for indicative purposes only. Feel free to contact us in advance of your reservation or once it is confirmed to ensure its handling by contacting us at +596 696 78 95 15.
To see turtles and dolphins in Martinique and the underwater landscapes
Embark on our boats for a fully immersive and safe excursion, and experience an unforgettable encounter with the sea turtles of Martinique. Set off for an afternoon (1pm-5pm) exploring the underwater landscapes and meeting the sea turtles of Martinique. A magical moment awaits you immersed in the rich and colorful ecosystem that Martinique offers.
To discover the sea turtles and dolphins of Martinique in their natural environment
Departing from Anse à l’Âne, Trois-Îlets, our captain will take you towards the Caribbean Sea passing by the Diamond Rock. During this excursion, discover coral reefs and the species they shelter. A swimming break will be taken at a site frequented by sea turtles, an area rich in seagrass beds allowing us to observe them in their feeding grounds. Our approach emphasizes our role as observers, so it is crucial to maintain a respectful attitude towards the fauna and flora to avoid disrupting their habits.
Swimwear is strongly recommended to fully enjoy this emotionally rich swimming experience. Equipment such as masks, snorkels, and fins will be provided by our teams. We will end this afternoon with a relaxing moment, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks available. The return is scheduled around 5 pm.
All you need to know about the Martinique sea turtle
The Martinique sea turtle is a threatened species found in the Caribbean Sea. Turtles can be identified by their black and green shell. They typically measure around 60 cm in length and weigh about 45 kg. They are found in shallow waters, where they feed on seagrass and algae.
The Martinique sea turtle is important for the environment as it helps maintain healthy seagrass beds. They also play a role in maintaining ecosystem balance. For example, sea urchins can multiply and damage seagrass if there are no turtles to eat them.
Turtles are also important to humans. They are an essential element of local culture and maritime tourism. Caribbean residents have considered turtles as symbols of fertility and luck for centuries.
The different species of turtles in Martinique
The different species of turtles found in Martinique are the green turtle, the hawksbill turtle, the leatherback turtle, and the loggerhead turtle. The Martinique green turtle is the most common species, followed by the hawksbill turtle. The loggerhead turtle is the least common.
Each of these species has its own characteristics. The green turtle is the largest of the three and can weigh up to 250 kg. It is also the slowest and prefers to live in deep waters. The hawksbill turtle is smaller than the green turtle and can weigh up to 100 kg. It swims quickly and lives in both shallow and deep waters. The loggerhead turtle is larger than the hawksbill turtle but smaller than the green sea turtle. It is the only species that prefers to live in freshwater, which it enters through estuaries.
What is the turtle nesting period in Martinique?
The turtle nesting period in Martinique extends from April to October. The nesting period is followed by a winter rest period from November to March. During this rest period, turtles travel long distances around the Caribbean Sea without feeding. Females return to their nesting site every 2 or 3 years, depending on the turtle species, and lay 20 to 80 eggs per trip.
The female digs a hole with her hind flippers and then begins laying eggs. Typically, she lays 25 to 60 eggs at a time. She then covers the hole with sand before returning to the sea.
Turtles usually come to Martinique between February and November when food is abundant, making it easy to spot them. Nesting mainly occurs at night, under the moonlight, between April and November.
Where to see turtles in Martinique
If you want to see turtles in Martinique, there are a few places you can go. The most common place to see them is on Grande Anse D’Arlet beach. There is also a small turtle sanctuary in the town of Trois Ilets.
The most common species in Martinique, the green turtle, can often be seen swimming in the shallow coastal waters between Anse Mitan and Anse Cafard. When they are young, they are mainly found in shallow waters, but as they grow older, they spend more time in deep water. They feed on seagrass and algae.
The hawksbill turtle prefers the more sheltered bays of Carbet or François, while seeing a loggerhead turtle is rare; they are usually found between 30 and 100 meters deep off the coast of Martinique.
How to observe a Martinique turtle?
If you are lucky, you may spot one of the sea turtles that frequent the waters of Martinique. The easiest way to see them is to take a Martinique turtle excursion, which is often offered from Anse à l’âne, these excursions typically last about two hours and give you the chance to see the turtles swimming.
Turtle protection in Martinique
Martinique is home to two protected areas for turtles: one for green turtles and another for hawksbill turtles. The Martinique Biosphere Reserve, which covers adjacent terrestrial and marine areas, also houses these turtles.
Martinique is part of the French Committee for the Conservation of Marine Turtles. The Committee was founded in 1985 by people interested in the conservation of marine turtles. Its mission is to study and protect endangered species. Its actions focus on research, education, and monitoring of marine turtles in the Caribbean.
Martinique Marine Mammal Charter:
Martinique, with its 21 species of marine mammals, offers an ideal environment for their feeding, breeding, and migration. Resident or transient groups, remarkable for their number and variety, provide observers with high chances of sighting them, promising emotionally rich experiences.
However, the increase in vessels and inappropriate interactions with these animals pose a serious threat to local cetaceans. To counter this, a charter defining appropriate practices for the approach and observation of cetaceans in Martinique has been established. This charter aims to:
- Protect cetaceans and minimize disturbances to them,
- Promote quality, responsible, and awe-inspiring ecotourism,
- Regulate cetacean observation at sea, in a spirit of mutual respect.
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