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Bath Rugby’s 1st XV Get SEA TURTLES for Christmas

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Press Release – For Immediate Release

Bath Rugby got more than victory for Christmas. They also got sea turtles. Yes, you read that correctly!

 

Sea turtles.

 

And not just any sea turtles.

Critically endangered Caribbean hawksbill sea turtles. Avid Bath Rugby fan and season ticket holder, Scott Eanes, also happens to be a sea turtle biologist, and on his two conservation trips in 2023, he had an idea.

“I love Bath Rugby and I love hawksbill sea turtles” Scott said “so why not blend the two?”.

Scott handed out token turtle gifts to the first XV on 23rd December, as they left the pitch victorious over Harelquins, explaining that they each now had a Hawksbill named after them. The boys seemed somewhat dazed but delighted!

Eanes “I thought it would be cool for them to know they are lending their name for the conservation of a key stone species. Nowadays almost every environmental story is bad news, it’s too hot, this is melting, this is bleaching, this is flooding…we need some positivity. This is that positivity!

Scott moved from the US Virgin Islands to England in 2017 after his home on St. Thomas was hit by two catastrophic category 5 hurricanes. Even though he no longer lives in the tropics, he decided he had work with sea turtles, so in 2022 he started The Hawksbill Project. The Hawksbill Project is a UK based charity with a goal of supporting and participating in the conservation of hawksbill turtles.

 

“Hawksbill turtles may be the most exploited marine turtle species in history. Their beautiful shell has been made into jewellery for centuries and the cause of their dramatic decline, because, depending on where you are on the planet their population level may be 1% of what it once was. This beautiful and environmentally important species needs our help.”

 

In June and July in St. John, US Virgin Islands, and Carriacou, Grenada, W.I. in October, a total of 17 hawksbill turtles were named after Bath Rugby players. He then took those photos, customised them to the include The Hawksbill Project logo, included the biometric information from the turtles, and then gave them to the players they are named after.”

 

The Hawksbill Project conducts research in locations that are data deficient. This means there is a huge need to know how many hawksbills are present and all their biometric data. Their length and weight can let researchers know their age while their genetic information can hopefully reveal the beaches where they were born.

 

“This work is critically important and we are trying to do as much of it as possible to address data deficient areas, and the real satisfaction comes from people seeing the turtles we have documented. Two days after we left St. John, a lovely underwater photographer saw Ben Obano, the turtle, in Trunk Bay. Three weeks after that, Dr. Caroline Rogers photographed Tom Dunn, the turtle, in a bay on the south side of the island. This shows they are resident turtles and that is very valuable information.”

 

When Scott isn’t conducting sea turtle research he is working with his brother in law, ex Bath Rugby player and Army Rugby captain, Jamie Miller. The pair started Clean Break Properties, a property management company in the city of Bath.

 

“We started this property management company and from the start we wanted to be able to be more than just a property management company. We wanted to use our profit from the business to benefit the environment. It was an easy decision” Jamie said.

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