MAYOTTE deployment missions - July-September 2021

Several deployments then occurred in the following months. Two missions took place in Mayotte, the first from 17 to 24 July, then the second from August 25 to September 1 2021.  A joint team of scientists from the Indian Ocean delegation of Ifremer and the LIRMM implemented the IOT project on this study site.

The objective of the first mission, named Mayotte 1, was to check the proper functioning of the LoRa network on the two sites identified for marking and monitoring juvenile turtles, namely N'Gouja, located in the south-west of Grande-Terre, and the Badamiers mudflat, in the west of Petite-Terre. The second objective of this mission was to tag turtles with the latest generation of IOT tags.

With the support of the Mayotte Natural Marine Park, the Mayotte Departmental Council and the Oulanga na Nyamba association, six juvenile turtles, three green turtles and three hawksbill turtles, were captured on the Badamiers mudflat and equiped with tags. Mayotte’s partners were also trained by Ifremer in the installation of the tags.

During this first mission, a receiving station was installed at the Mayotte Marine Natural Park's operations centre, located on the edge of the Badamiers mudflat, which will complete the LoRa network deployed by Orange in Mayotte in early 2021.

During the second mission (Mayotte 2) two additional receiving stations were installed, one at the Mayotte Maritime Gendarmerie and the other at the restaurant "Le Jardin maoré" in N'Gouja. A third station could also be installed at the Bouéni College, not far from the N'Gouja site where LoRa network coverage is more difficult.

The second part of the Mayotte 2 mission consisted of tagging the last turtles of the project. Indeed, the project plans to deploy ten new generation tags per study site. Four juvenile green turtles were captured and tagged at the N'Gouja site.

For each of the turtles, photos were taken for photo-identification of the individuals and biometric measurements (weight, length and curvilinear width of the carapace) were recorded. All of this information will subsequently be integrated into the "Turtles of the South West Indian Ocean" (TORSOOI) database.

The signals transmitted by the turtle tags are well received by the networks installed on each of the two monitoring sites. Some turtles have even been observed again by partners or swimmers who have informed Ifremer and for which we thank them.