IOSEA e-News for June 2015 (

Conference call among IOSEA Sub-regional Focal Points

On 27 May, the Secretariat organized a conference call among three of the four IOSEA Sub-regional Focal Points as well as Dr. Jack Frazier from the Advisory Committee. Many agenda items were discussed, as summarized in this May Feature. More »

Moorea: Clinic saves sea turtles, also by changing minds

On the picturesque South Pacific island of Moorea - the “pearl of the Pacific” — a special kind of hospital is helping marine turtles. The “sea turtle hospital”, founded in 2004 by the environmental organization Te Mana O Te Moana, aims to protect sick and injured sea turtles. The turtles are brought to Moorea from across French Polynesia, sometimes by tourists, police or fishermen. They are subject to hunting by well-organized poaching rings — and also eaten by locals. It is estimated that up to 1,000 animals are killed each season, for around 30,000 kilograms of meat. Today, environmental organizations such as Te Mana O Te Moana and the tourism industry work hand-in-hand. The group also raises awareness among young Polynesians on respecting sea life.  More »

Natural History: From fins to legs to fins again

Whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles are members of an exceptional group of animals, called marine tetrapods, that have moved from the sea to the land and back to the sea again over the last 350 million years — each time making radical changes to their life style, body shape, physiology and sensory systems. What made these animals return to the ocean? According to Neil Kelley, researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s department of paleobiology, “they followed their stomachs into the ocean.” Kelley is the lead author of a new scientific review that synthesized decades of scientific findings regarding the changes that these land species underwent in order to thrive in the marine environment.  More »

Madagascar’s first Community-Led Marine Protected Areas!

The Government of Madagascar commemorated Earth Day with the formal creation of three community-led marine protected areas that will double the surface of the country’s marine protected area network, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society). On April 21, the Malagasy Government granted permanent protection to 27 protected areas, including the country’s first three community-led marine protected areas. The three marine parks are located along the west coast of Madagascar in what is known as the Mozambique Channel, home to the world’s second-most diverse coral population. Together with the government and local communities, WCS has worked in these three sites over the last five years to develop and establish a new model for marine protected areas in Madagascar using a community-driven, science-based approach to safeguard corals, sea turtles, sharks, and whales. More »


The IOSEA Technical Support and Capacity Building Programme, slow to get off the ground, is featured this month in light of the new priorities identified by Signatory States at their Seventh Meeting (September 2014). In particular, the Secretariat has engaged in discussions in the past months with Australia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and the United Republic of Tanzania to address some of the specific needs identified by the programme. All eligible countries are encouraged to apply.

Work on the IOSEA Site Network continued this month, as feedback provided by the Advisory Committee and Working Group members on both the Site Information Sheet template and the Evaluation Criteria was consolidated. A conference call to discuss specific amendments to the Site Information Sheet and Evaluation Criteria among the Subcommittee Members is planned for mid-June. An updated version of these materials will be circulated before the next call for proposals.

An important meeting held in May was the 35th International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation (Turkey). The Secretariat is thankful to Advisory Committee member Jack Frazier for presenting the IOSEA Site Network on its behalf.

On 27 May, the Secretariat organized a conference call among the four IOSEA Sub-regional Focal Points as well as Jack Frazier from the Advisory Committee. Many agenda items were discussed, as summarized in the minutes of the conference published in a May Feature.

It is with pleasure that the Secretariat would like to announce the re-election of Dr. Jack Frazier as the IOSEA Advisory Committee Chair. This month we also welcomed the announcement of two new national Focal Points to the IOSEA family: Mr. Haji Sani bin Mohd Isa from Malaysia and Mr. Abdul Munaf Qaimkhani from Pakistan. Their full contact details can be found in the Membership section of the IOSEA website. Additionally, we welcome Mariam Al Busaidi to the IOSEA working Group on Illegal Take and Trade as the representative for Oman.

Lots of news headlines this month, featuring stories from at least 15 countries around the IOSEA region.

World Turtle Day took place on the 23rd of May and was celebrated in many countries across the IOSEA region. In particular a member of the IOSEA Advisory Committee, Dr. Col Limpus, featured in an interesting video presenting ongoing conservation activities in Australia.

As always: if you have read this far, perhaps you could spare a little more time to write a short article on your project or activity which would be of general interest to other readers around the region? Reader submissions are warmly encouraged.

MONTHLY ROUND-UP: What you may have missed in May
"Hover" for summaries & "Click" to view each story

Philippines: Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area 31 May

Australia: UNESCO’s draft ruling on GBR 29 May

Australia: UNESCO to release draft ruling on GBR 28 May

Pakistan: Students involved in turtle conservation 28 May

Malaysia: 74 turtles tagged for World Turtle Day 28 May

Philippines: 14 stuffed sea turtles seized in Palawan 27 May

Malaysia: Pulau Redang turtles under siege from rats 26 May

Viet Nam: Marine Turtle Conservation Action Plan 26 May

UAE: 5 new areas of global ecological importance 26 May

Australia: Transmitters used to track baby flatback turtles 25 May

Oman: Sea turtles head to Ras Al Hadd beach for nesting 25 May

Indonesia: Stop the feast on endangered turtle meat 23 May

Australia, QLD: video for World Turtle Day 22 May

Can crowdfunding power Sri Lankan sea turtles? 22 May

Malaysia: Illegal turtle eggs sold in Terengganu 22 May

India: Conservationists upset with less turtle nestings 21 May

Australia, QLD: Funding for green turtle work 21 May

Australia: Flatback hatchlings make their way to the ocean 20 May

India, Mumbai: Dead sea turtle washes ashore 19 May

Australia: Angling changes to prevent turtle drownings 18 May

Australia: Flatback turtles swim against current 18 May

US: Injured turtle gets a 3D-printed beak 18 May

Philippines: Back to the sea for trapped turtles 16 May

Australia, QLD: Shipping curbs around Great Barrier Reef 16 May

Australia: Go turtle and bird-spotting with an expert 15 May

Philippines: Green sea turtle captured in Cebu 14 May

India, Odisha: Turtles hatch in India’s largest rookery 14 May

Australia, QLD: Distant glow confuses turtle hatchlings 11 May

Malaysia: Removing plastic bags to protect turtles 9 May

Philippines: Captivity of hawksbill turtle in resort probed 9 May

India, Karnataka: Rare turtle found dead 8 May

India, Odisha: Over 70 lakh turtles hatched in Odisha 7 May

Australia, QLD: Chilli peppers do not deter goannas 6 May

Philippines: Sea turtle found tied up 6 May

Philippines: Rage over tied-up turtle in Guimaras 6 May

India, Odisha: Dogs feast on Olive Ridley hatchlings 6 May

Philippines: Rescued sea turtle released 5 May

Japan: Spawning season for loggerhead turtles 4 May

India, Odisha: Webcast of Olive Ridley hatchlings 3 May

for June 2015


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