What you need to know
Marine turtles are highly sensitive to light and movement when on the beach. When they are disturbed during the nesting process by people seeking a turtle viewing opportunity, they abort their nesting attempt and return to the water. Repeated disturbance may result in turtles releasing their eggs at sea, and cause turtles to expend an enormous amount of energy in futile nesting attempts. Such disturbance could have a negative impact on the reproductive success of the threatened marine turtle species that nest on the NW Cape.
The number of visitors seeking a turtle viewing experience on the NW Cape is increasing significantly. Studies conducted on the beaches of the NW Cape since 1995 have demonstrated a significant incidence of turtle disturbance during the nesting process by self-guided visitors as they search for nesting turtles. Turtle interaction licensing was introduced in 2002 to help protect marine turtles.