The Seventh Meeting of the Signatory States to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU) will be held in the vicinity of Bangkok, Thailand, from 5 to 8 August 2014.
The meeting will bring together representatives and other experts from the 35 countries across in Indian Ocean – South-East Asia region that are participating in this regional agreement under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
Non-Signatory States and nongovernmental and intergovernmental organisations concerned with the conservation and management of marine turtles and their habitats are also welcome to attend as observers. The working language of the meeting will be English.
The Meeting of Signatory States will be preceded, on 2-3 August 2014, by a meeting of the IOSEA Advisory Committee. More »
The Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF organised a workshop in Dubai from 24-25 March 2014, marking the end of an intensive three-year project that used satellite tracking to chart the movements of 75 hawkbill turtles in and around the Gulf region. These findings were combined with previous datasets for another 15 turtles, to paint a fascinating picture of hawksbill migration and foraging behaviour.
While a number of key foraging grounds in the Gulf were identified, in general the foraging areas were much more widely dispersed than expected and were not necessarily associated with prime coral reef habitat. The project also demonstrated an interesting thermoregulatory response of hawksbill turtles, which show a marked tendency to migrate to deeper and cooler waters during hot Gulf summers. The detailed findings of this ground-breaking study will eventually be published in a scientific journal. More »
FROM THE SECRETARIAT
The Profile of the Month for May draws attention to a forest reserve and marine turtle nesting beach in Perak, Malaysia, which are threatened by industrial development. Activists have presented an 80,000-plus strong petition to local politicians, hoping that the projects will be relocated.
Last month the Secretariat confirmed the dates for the forthcoming Seventh Meeting of IOSEA Signatory States (SS7) and associated meeting of the Advisory Committee: 5-8 August 2014 and 2-3 August, respectively. The venue (in the vicinity of Bangkok) will be announced shortly. Observers from IGOs and NGOs are also welcome to participate in SS7, which will discuss a wide range of issues concerning marine turtle conservation in the IOSEA region. The possibility of organising a special session of the Western Indian Ocean – Marine Turtle Task Force (WIO-MTTF) is also being explored.
(Registration Form and Provisional Agenda.)
Egypt and Sudan are now officially members of the IOSEA extended family, with the MoU taking effect for both countries on 1 May 2014. The Secretariat is awaiting notification of the details of their respective Focal Points. A major exercise was undertaken recently to revise the online IOSEA Membership List. If you would like to know who the IOSEA Focal Point is for your country, check it out here.
A final push is underway for countries to nominate sites for possible inclusion in the IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network, to be formally launched at the meeting. In addition to drafting suggested proposals for some 15 countries, the Secretariat has been in direct contact with another 8 countries to encourage them to expedite the submission of proposals.
Signatory States have also been encouraged to finalise the updating of their online National Reports, which are due for completion by the end of May. This is to allow the Secretariat sufficient time to produce a substantial synthesis of the contents.
Also making news last month was a summary of a workshop organised by EWS-WWF in Dubai, in late March, marking the end of an important satellite tracking study on hawksbill turtle movements in and around the Gulf. The occasion was also used to hold a special workshop devoted to the IOSEA Site Network.
We continue to encourage interested readers to check out the brand new International Flipper Tag Recovery Database and, better yet, contribute data on flipper tag returns they have in their collection. Additionally, we have received many requests to access the IOSEA Bibliography Resource. A software bug has been fixed recently which should allow users to take full advantage once again of this service.
Finally, the Secretariat wishes to acknowledge an important voluntary contribution received recently from South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs; as well as significant pledges of support from the United States (Department of State and NOAA), without which it would not have been possible to organise the forthcoming meetings. A number of other Signatory States are expected to follow suit shortly.
There were plenty of interesting New Headlines and Message Board items in April. Check them out below or visit the online Archive at your leisure.
MONTHLY ROUND-UP: What you may have missed in April
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