Since 2012, the Marineland Association has led the conservation program ObsTortueMed, i.e. Observation of Sea Turtles in the Mediterranean, improving knowledge on the evolution of the population structure and on the identification of threats specific to a given region, through five lines of action:
- Observations in the sea: the objective is to define the situation of sea turtle populations off the coasts of the Maritime Alps and the Var by recording their presence, abundance and geographic distribution off coasts.
- Autopsies of dead stranded sea turtles: Autopsies are made of dead sea turtles found off the coasts of the Maritime Alps and the Var to identify the causes of death and the threats to these protected species. All the results of the analyses feed into the monitoring program of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the European INDICIT program.
- Wildlife rehabilitation center: The center is a “hospital” dedicated to sea turtles that are stranded or in distress off the coasts of the Maritime Alps and the Var. The sea turtles in distress are taken in and cared for until they are released into the sea.
- ObsTortueNest: An alert network was created to ensure the surveillance and monitoring of turtle nesting, as well as the prospecting of beaches with dogs specifically trained to detect sea turtles.
- Interaction between fishing and sea turtles: To improve knowledge of the interactions between fishing activities and sea turtles, Marineland Association works in collaboration with the Maritime Alps Departmental Committee for Maritime Fisheries and Sea Farming.
In 2022, ObsTortueMed was enriched with a new component:
CapCaouanne: Study of a maritime area identified as a major sea turtle frequentation zone off the coast of Nice. During the summer, a 5-day campaign was organized at sea to check the abundance of sea turtles in this area and collect biological data.