In this month’s Profile, we analyse the national reports submitted to the Scientific Committee of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) for useful information on fisheries-turtle interactions. These reports, which have never before been reviewed systematically from this standpoint, have much to offer. Among other things, they describe the size and distribution of fleets potentially impacting turtles in the Indian Ocean, as well as details of progress made by IOTC member countries in implementing turtle bycatch mitigation measures.
March saw some important additions to the IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network page, with the inclusion of a list of about 80 potential candidate sites suggested by experts, as well as a new Image Gallery corresponding to each of the proposed areas. IOSEA Focal Points are reminded that official proposals for nomination of sites should reach the Secretariat six months before the next meeting of Signatory States, due to take place in 2014.
A second feature article draws attention to the excellent national report of France, which can be found in the IOSEA Online Reporting Facility. This exemplary report of IOSEA implementation has just been fully translated into English, with the help of our intern Pishum Migraine.
A report from Bangladesh highlights an ongoing satellite tracking project initiated in February by the NGO: Marinelife Alliance. The circuitous movements of an olive ridley turtle have now been tracked for more than 40 days, as it meanders around the Bay of Bengal.
March saw a flurry of important arrivals and departures of personnel in the secretariat of IOSEA and its parent organisation, the Convention on Migratory Species. Bradnee Chambers entered on duty as the new CMS Executive Secretary, taking over the reins from Elizabeth Mrema who has returned to a post in UNEP-Nairobi. Closer to home, Patcharin Supitchakul has recently moved to another position in the regional UNEP office in Bangkok. During the transitional period to identify a new IOSEA Team Assistant, she continues to help with the updating of the IOSEA website. We thank her for her valuable contributions during her more than five years of service to IOSEA. Finally, Siri Quade has just finished three months gaining work experience in the IOSEA Secretariat, which has culminated with a number of useful outputs related to the Site Network.
Looking ahead, the coming weeks should see the finalisation of the long-awaited Loggerhead Assessment, the start of work to develop a new international flipper tag recovery database, and further developments on the IOSEA Marine Turtle Site Network. Also, the Secretariat looks forward to hearing whether any country wishes to come forward and offer to host the Seventh Meeting of IOSEA Signatory States.
Before closing, we wish to acknowledge with great appreciation the important voluntary financial contribution that has just been provided by South Africa’s Department of Environment Affairs.
Last, but not least, please enjoy the News Headlines from March.