“Crowdfunding Program For The Conservation Of Sea turtles In Yakushima, Japan”
(Umigame-Kan, NPO, Yakushima, Japan) 



Hello, we are Umigame-Kan, a Non-Profit Organization based in Yakushima. For over 35 years, we have been dedicated to the conservation of endangered sea turtles that nest in our beautiful Nagata Beach. The species is on the endangered list (IUCN global Red List of threatened species) and the numbers are declining sharply in recent years.

Currently, our organization is going through a financial crisis, and we do not have enough funds to operate through the April – September nesting season. Our activities are vital for the protection of the mother sea turtles, their eggs and the hatchlings. We are the only group that watches over the sea turtles during the season on a daily basis. We need to raise 6 million JPY (appox. 54,000 USD) in order to keep the operation running and also continue monitoring activities that are extremely valuable for scientific research.  

Please donate today and help the sea turtles get through the nesting season safely!!


Period of crowdfunding:  February 22, 2019 - March 29, 2019
Target:  6 million JPY (appox. 54,000 USD) 

*This crowdfunding platform utilizes an "all-or-nothing" format, meaning that if we do not hit the target, your pledges will not come through – so we need all the help we can get!




The coastline of Japan is the only nesting ground for endangered sea turtles in the Northern Pacific. Yakushima, a sub-tropical island off the coast of Kyushu in the southern part of Japan, is the largest nesting ground for the Loggerhead and Green Sea turtles in the whole Northern Pacific region.


Among the several nesting grounds in Yakushima, Nagata Beach is the largest, where up to 900 mother turtles come up to the shore multiple times (more than 3000 times in 2018) to lay their eggs.

The Umigame-Kan is a Non-Profit Organization that focuses on the conservation of sea turtles in Nagata Beach, founded by Kazuyoshi Omuta in 1985. Activities include patrolling the beach to protect the mother/baby sea turtles, rescuing sea turtles in need, conducting research-related monitoring (tagging and measuring), maintaining the beach, and operating educational/volunteer programs. The Umigame-Kan has been at the center of conservation at this beach for decades, and highly recognized for its activities.




During the past few years, the NPO faced difficulties as Omuta prepared for retirement. Unable to find a successor nor secure adequate help from the local government, Omuta was on the verge of shutting down the NPO in 2018. At the final hour, it was decided that the NPO will go on under a new organization. But now the NPO is facing a severe financial crisis, since it had not received any donations while considering shutting-down. At least 20 million JPY (approx.180,000 USD) is needed per year to run the operation, but currently there is not enough to even get through the next several months – the all-important nesting period. The sea turtles are heading to Yakushima as we speak, expected to show up in large numbers between April and September. There is no time to lose.

We need your help in raising 6 million JPY (approx. 54,000 USD) for the Umigame-Kan to operate through these crucial months. The NPO’s presence is vital for maintaining a good environment for the sea turtles to nest. 





As tourism increases on the island, people are becoming a large threat to the animals. Visitors innocently tramp on nests unaware of their existence, or come to the beach at night with flashlights, which can distract the new-born turtles trying to the reach the ocean.

The Umigame-kan staff and volunteers patrol the beach every night during the nesting season. They watch over the mothers giving birth while educating the visitors, mark the nests, secure “safe zones” and relocate the nests that are in danger of being trampled. Relocating is hard work. Each nest is around 60cm deep containing an average of 100 eggs. The eggs are carefully dug out and placed in a newly dug hole within the “safe zone”. This is done countless times during the season. Due to the NPO’s expertise, the relocated nests have a high birth rate. 


The staff also do their best to protect the hatchlings as they crawl out of their nest and scramble towards the ocean. Most eggs hatch at night, and the NPO makes a continuous effort to educate visitors to keep artificial light away from the beach. New born turtles are known to follow moonlight reflecting on the waves, so it is important to keep the beach pitch dark. The increase of tourists has led to more cars, more people walking the beach with flashlights. Many hatchlings die each year as a result of following the wrong light source. The NPO recently constructed a fence around the parking lot adjacent to the beach to block light from automobiles. 


Yakushima is often hit by storms which can cause large damage to the beach. The staff relocate the eggs that are in danger, and also clean up debris on the beach. The NPO keeps a close eye on the overall beach environment.

Another invaluable role of the NPO is monitoring and tagging the sea turtles for research purposes. The information has been utilized by scientists around the world, which help to study the behavior of the animals.



We hope were able to shed light on the important role of the Umigame-kan. 

Please kindly contact umigame.yakushima@gmail.com to make your donation.


The amounts are as found on the screen, ranging from 3000 JPY (approx. 27 USD) to 500,000 JPY (approx. 4,510 USD). Please chose the amount. Your donations will be highly appreciated. Help us keep Nagata-Inaka Beach beautiful for generations to come.




In 2018, 860 mother sea turtles came up at Nagata Beach for a combined 3332 times, successfully laying their eggs 1685 times. Each nest contains roughly 100 eggs. Of all the eggs laid, it is estimated that 50-60% hatched successfully.


The baby sea turtles born in Yakushima are thought to swim across the Pacific Ocean over a period of 2 years to reach their feeding ground off the coast of Mexico and California. Studies have revealed that after spending 10 – 20 years there, the matured sea turtles make the long trip back to Japan, to breed at the beach where they were born. It is our mission to protect the sea turtles’ breeding activities and maintain our beautiful beach so that the sea turtles can keep coming back year after year. 





Please kindly contact umigame.yakushima@gmail.com to make your donation.


Please kindly check the donation guide below.