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Watersports Businesses

Water Sports businesses are those businesses with the potential to encounter sea turtles in the water while conducting business (i.e. snorkeling, diving, and boating excursions). St. Kitts and Nevis hosts resident juvenile green and hawksbill turtles in its waters year-round, while adult female nesting leatherback, green, and hawksbill turtles may be found in the water during nesting season. The primary focus of CTAP Water Sports Criteria is to guide appropriate patron behavior in the presence of sea turtles and minimize detrimental impact on sea turtles and other marine resources. This is achieved by informing patrons of expected behavior prior to entering the water, business staff leading by example, prohibiting the harassment or endangerment of sea turtles, maintaining watercraft in good condition, obeying all maritime and boating laws, and avoiding behaviors that endanger coral reef habitat.


Section 1 is common to all categories (see common criteria).

Section 2:  Demonstrate Effective Management to Minimize Negative Sea Turtle Impacts

Group Size

Group size shall be limited to a number that does not overwhelm marine life present at the viewing site.

In-Water Behavior

Staff and patrons do not harass or cause undue stress to any sea turtle encountered at sea.

Sea Turtle Viewing Buffer Space

Staff and patrons shall maintain sufficient buffer space from sea turtles to allow them to come to the surface to breath without impediment.


Sea Turtle Feeding Policy

Staff and patrons shall not feed or attempt to feed any sea turtle encountered.


Artificial Light Pollution

The establishment shall take accountability for the artificial light pollution it creates and take measures to minimize ambient light and prevent light visibility from the beach and ocean.


Section 3: Demonstrate Effective Management to Minimize Negative Environmental Impacts

Coral Reef Protection

Staff and patrons shall protect the coral reef they encounter.


Watercraft Operation

The establishment shall operate and maintain its watercraft in a sea turtle safe manner


Reef Safe Sunscreen (Recommended)

The establishment should encourage patrons to use reef-safe and biodegradable sunscreen. Reef-safe sunscreens are free of the following ingredients: butylparaben, ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3 and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor.


Landscaping (Recommended)

The establishment should use native species wherever feasible and avoids introducing invasive species in their landscaping.


Section 4:  Demonstrate a Contribution to Sea Turtle Conservation in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis

In Kind Boat Usage

The establishment shall provide boat transportation and fuel for one in-water research session or sea turtle release for SKSTMN each year that it is in good CERTIFIED TURTLE APPROVED standing.


Beach Cleanup

The establishment agrees to host/co-host one beach cleanup each year that it is in good CERTIFIED TURTLE APPROVED standing.

CTAP Water Sports Businesses
Green sea turtle hit by a water taxi
Provisioned turtle
Swimming with sea turtles
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