09/08/2019

Jo Farrow’s sea turtle journey: from Zakynthos to Ascension Island and back!

Jo has been a remarkable leader for the public awareness activity in the Zakynthos project for a number of years. She has trained many volunteers, has given hundreds of presentations herself and has help a great deal in raising funds for the project.

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It’s August 2019 and the hatchlings from the beaches of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos are rushing to the sea in the best possible way. The major conservation issue in Zakynthos now, is that hundreds of turtle spotting boats are disrespecting the code of conduct for observations daily in Laganas Bay. There is now proof of the collisions of boats with turtles and they damage they have been causing year after year on a number of animals.

All this will not stop us from marking the return of Jo Farrow in ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation project on Zakynthos! Jo has been a remarkable leader for the public awareness activity in the Zakynthos project for a number of years. She has trained many volunteers, has given hundreds of presentations herself and has help a great deal in raising funds for the project. From loggerheads on Zakynthos she moved to green turtles on Ascension island but she is back to celebrate her 10th year with us! Let’s hear about this journey by her own words:

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“Back in 2010, I traveled to Zakynthos for the first time to volunteer with ARCHELON for 6 weeks. I did not know what to expect from my first conservation project, but for sure I fell in love with this experience. So, when I was offered the role of public awareness coordinator for ARCHELON, I accepted immediately and kept coming year after year. I’ve spent 4 nesting season on this riole!

But 2018 was the year I decided it was time for a change. I took my love of turtles to another island, a tiny little island in the middle of the south Atlantic. I applied for a position as a turtle intern on Ascension Island and thanks to all my previous experience with ARCHELON, I was offered the position!

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Although I missed the beautiful loggerheads in Zakynthos, I really enjoyed my unique experience of working with the green turtles on this crazy island. The nest numbers there were far beyond what I could ever have imagined with us reaching the entire nest count of Zakynthos in only a few weeks.

Although I have been seeing turtles daily and enjoyed working on the beautiful untouched beaches out there, I could not wait to return back in the place where I belong. Although Zakynthos may not have as many turtles and certainly doesn't have as many nests, I will always see it as my home.»

Thank you and happy 10th anniversary Jo!

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