IOSEA e-News for April 2009 (

New webpage on turtle bycatch mitigation directives,%20Recommendations,%20DecisionsOver the past 5-6 years, many resolutions, recommendations and decisions concerning mitigation of turtle bycatch in fisheries have emerged from various regional fisheries management organisations, such as IATTC, ICCAT, IOTC, NAFO and WCPFC. The Signatory States to the IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU, and the Inter-American Convention on Sea Turtles have also adopted a number of resolutions that cover this topic and others.

All in all there are more than a dozen non-binding directives - and possibly more - that are currently relevant across various international instruments. More »

Circle takes to the sea again

First strokes into the open ocean. Photo credit: Marie Lauret-SteplerCircle is a loggerhead turtle accidentally captured in December 2007 and brought to Kélonia ‎with a hook in her throat.

She was operated by a veterinarian to remove the hook and stayed over a ‎year at the Kélonia care centre for recovery. She had had trouble eating properly for ‎almost 6 months after her arrival. She weighed 58 kg and measured 77 cm when she ‎arrived, and 53 kg / 78 cm when she was released this March. Her behaviour indicated clearly that ‎she was ready to go back home.‎ More »

France and Mozambique - welcome aboard!

The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Memorandum of Understanding officially took effect on 1 March 2009 for France and Mozambique - two key countries for marine turtle conservation in the southwest Indian Ocean.

France is playing a prominent role in the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Project (SWIOFP), one component of which focuses on marine turtle conservation and research, and it is working to develop a separate regional database and GIS that will complement the IOSEA Online Reporting Facility. Mozambique is also an important part of the turtle conservation equation in the southwest Indian Ocean. It shares important turtle populations with South Africa, its neighbour to the south, and already has a national sea turtle committee in place, which should facilitate exchange of information in the future.  More »



Lots going on in the IOSEA community this past month:

The Western Indian Ocean – Marine Turtle Task Force (WIO-MTTF), under the chairmanship of Dr Ronel Nel, has just concluded a week-long e-conference, which solicited inputs from task force members on a wide range of topics. The fruits of this innovative approach to exchanging information within the sub-region are currently being compiled.

There has also been a flurry of correspondence in recent weeks around the southwest Indian Ocean, exploring the possibility of organising one or more sea turtle-related workshops in connection with the large WIOMSA gathering taking place in Réunion, France, in August 2009. Once he dust has settled, we’ll inform you of the final plans.

For its part, the Secretariat has been active on a number of different fronts in recent weeks:

(1) In collaboration with Advisory Committee Chair, Dr. Jack Frazier, a proposal has been developed and submitted to the United States’ Marine Turtle Conservation Fund, with the hope of securing US$ 50,000 for the establishment of an IOSEA Technical Support and Capacity Building Programme. The project would draw on expertise within the IOSEA Advisory Committee, mainly to respond to requests from Signatory States for direct technical support and to undertake other capacity-building initiatives.

(2) A further upgrade of the IOSEA website is about to begin. Some valuable new tools will be developed, notably a searchable metadatabase on satellite tracking projects around the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia region. This will offer the most comprehensive overview ever of projects that have tracked the migration of hundreds of marine turtles around the region. Also, to complement the ongoing WIO-MTTF information-gathering project, an online bibliographic resource is being developed for MTTF members. These and other enhancements to the site should come online over the next 6-8 weeks.

(3) The Secretariat has been working with Dr Mark Hamann to develop terms of reference for a new project to get the region-wide IOSEA assessment of loggerhead turtle conservation status off the ground. This will draw on information available in the Online Reporting Facility, as well as other information sources within and outside the Advisory Committee. The project will focus on countries with nesting and foraging populations of loggerheads and will also examine the potential impacts of climate change.

As this note is being written, the verdict is still awaited on whether the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), meeting in Bali this week, will adopt a resolution aimed at strengthening efforts to mitigate sea turtle bycatch in tuna and tuna-like fisheries, and improve the collection of data in this area. The Secretariat has been lobbying in the margins to include provisions that would recognise IOSEA’s interest and role in bycatch reduction measures, and intensify the already good collaboration with the IOTC Secretariat. The outcomes will be summarized in an upcoming feature article.

Finally, further afield, and looking ahead to April, Kenya will be organising a National Stakeholders Workshop in Mombasa next week, from 6 to 8 April. The Secretariat has been invited to participate.

MONTHLY ROUND-UP: What you may have missed in March

Indonesia: Coral reef development not maximal 30 Mar

Spy in the sky confirms Hong Kong as turtle haven 26 Mar

India: Conservation of coral reef in Lakshadweep 26 Mar

Vast scatters of coral reefs found in Pakistan 25 Mar

UAE: Marine sanctuary to be expanded 25 Mar

Philippines: 72 marine turtle hatchlings released 22 Mar

Third sea turtle rescued in Misamis Oriental town 22 Mar

UAE: Turtle rehab saves another life 20 Mar

Four-wheel-drive ban for Cable Beach, Australia 19 Mar

Meet Bhau Katdhare, saviour of Olive Ridleys 18 Mar

Plastic trash accounts for one-third of leatherback mortalities 17 Mar

UAE: Hawksbill turtles still at risk 15 Mar

Australia: Creatures surviving deadly oil spill 15 Mar

Iran: Turtles Endangered 14 Mar

200 kg giant green sea turtle found in Tanauan 14 Mar

Australian oil spill bigger than first thought 13 Mar

Poor law enforcement fans sea turtle trade 13 Mar

Saudi prince funds coral reef survey 13 Mar

Red List of endangered species 'inaccurate' 12 Mar

Pacific Islands meet to save marine turtles 12 Mar

Australian ship spills fertiliser near marine park 12 Mar

Conservation plea on ocean islands 10 Mar

Aussie turtles 'ride the EAC' to Peru 10 Mar

Sea rangers part of world turtle project 8 Mar

When law enforcers eat 'illegal' food 7 Mar

Maldives: Living on the edge 7 Mar

Qatar/UAE: 16 coral monitoring stations installed 6 Mar

Australia: Seabird Rescue in crisis 5 Mar

Green groups demand to stop work at Dhamara 3 Mar

India: Transmitter on turtle to study movement 3 Mar

Olive Ridley turtle find diverse support in Orissa 3 Mar

Philippines: Rescued sea turtle dies in Leyte 3 Mar

India: 29 fishermen arrested from prohibited Gahirmatha 2 Mar

PNG: Low numbers of leatherback turtles nests 1 Mar


for April 2009


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