IOSEA e-News for December 2008 (

IOTC 'Ecosystems and Bycatch' report highlights turtle issues

Report of the Fourth Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and BycatchThe Secretariat of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) has released the report of the meeting of its Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB), held in Bangkok in October 2008.

Among other things, the report describes a project being led by Ifremer (Réunion, France) to investigate sea turtle interactions with open sea fisheries. This project has the potential to provide unprecedented insights into fisheries-turtle interactions in the Western Indian Ocean and to make a major contribution to IOSEA implementation. More »

Captured green turtles released from Thameehla Island

In September 2008, three female juvenile green turtles and one adult male green turtle were incidentally caught in a small-scale gillnet 1.6 km from Myanmar's Thameehla (Diamond) Island. The fishermen informed Department of Fisheries staff and sent the turtles to the Marine Turtle Conservation and Management Station. Staff tagged and measured two of the female juvenile green turtles and the adult male and safely released them to the sea.  More »


This month’s e-News comes to you from Rome, Italy, where the Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) is being held. The Coordinator is helping colleagues from the CMS Secretariat “behind the scenes” to facilitate the conduct of this large meeting, which continues through 5 December.

In his role as Senior CMS Advisor, Douglas Hykle has been assisting with several other CMS issues of late, mostly unrelated to marine turtles – notably, representation at a meeting in Seychelles to consider the creation of a cetacean and dugong conservation network among island nations of the Western Indian Ocean; discussions on the establishment of a new office in Abu Dhabi to service various CMS species agreements; and serving on a committee to review offers to host a secretariat for the East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF) Partnership. The latter follows his participation at the Ramsar (Convention on Wetlands) COP10 and the EAAF Meeting of Partners in Korea in October, on behalf of CMS. These interesting diversions are part of the arrangement whereby CMS contributes to a portion of the IOSEA Secretariat’s operating costs.

While in Seychelles, the Coordinator worked with counterparts in the secretariat of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to prepare an “Executive Summary” on marine turtles, which will be presented to the IOTC’s Scientific Committee in early December. Essentially a briefing note on the status of available information on marine turtles and fisheries interactions in the Indian Ocean, this is an important preliminary step in forging closer collaboration between IOSEA and IOTC.

While in Seychelles, Vijay Mangar (Mauritius) reported that the IOSEA educational DVD has received a terrific reception in his country, having been widely diffused as a Public Service Announcement on the national TV network. This encouraging news dovetails with complimentary feedback received independently from a Mauritian schoolteacher who has used the DVD as an educational tool. Free copies of the DVD are still available in English and French by writing to the Secretariat.

While we await printing of physical copies of the Report of the Fifth Meeting of the Signatory States, the final report of the meeting has been posted in full on the IOSEA Website (under IOSEA Meetings). The text still contains a “draft” annotation, in case any minor changes are necessary during the printing process. In any case, it is expected that copies of the report will be circulated before the end of the year.

Recently the Secretariat has been exploring the possibility of organising a Strategic Planning Session on the future development of the IOSEA MoU, in conjunction with the forthcoming International Sea Turtle Symposium in Brisbane, next February. An update on how this plan is progressing will be provided next month.

As previously announced, a workshop looking into the problem of turtle bycatch in coastal fisheries will be organised in Honolulu, Hawaii, in January 2009. Despite encouragement on several occasions for greater Indian Ocean representation, participation from our region looks to be rather limited. Nevertheless, the Coordinator and IOSEA Advisory Committee member Bundit Chokesanguan will be participating.

Bangkok has been in the international media for the past several weeks and months and, as this note is being written, the tension in the city is mounting. While the Secretariat has been able to function more or less continuously during this difficult period, the ongoing situation has begun to disrupt normal life and there is a growing risk of becoming caught up in a serious conflict. The closure of both of the airports serving Bangkok poses an immediate challenge for the Coordinator’s return to Thailand at the end of the current CMS meeting, but hopefully cooler heads will prevail so that the standoff can be resolved peacefully. We’ll keep you posted if our activities look to be interrupted for a longer period of time.

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

Conservation to get boost with budget allocation 30 Nov

Endangered green turtle released back into the sea 29 Nov

South Africa: Parties ruining pristine Kosi Bay 28 Nov

Malaysia: Disturbed home 25 Nov

India: Greenpeace concerned about fishermen 23 Nov

Joint survey to monitor turtle deaths in Orissa coast 22 Nov

Turtle tagged in 1977 still providing feedback 21 Nov

India: Turtles arrive at Orissa coast 21 Nov

India: Street plays to save turtles 20 Nov

Shellshocked, but she'll be fine 19 Nov

Pakistan: US officials laud Sindh Wildlife efforts 18 Nov

Scientists try to revive Japan's biggest coral reef 18 Nov

India: It's that time of the year again... 18 Nov

Sea turtle protection campaign launched in Hanoi 17 Nov

Australia: Turtle rescued from fishing net dies 16 Nov

India: Govt to mitigate plight of marine fisherfolks 16 Nov

Tommy's a turtle who is very lucky 15 Nov

Malaysia: Friday sermon on turtles 15 Nov

Australia: Fishos become warriors in turtle rescue 14 Nov

Pakistan: Green turtles awareness programme 13 Nov

Malaysia: MNS bags Merdeka award 12 Nov

India: "Operation Olive" to protect turtles 10 Nov

World's largest coral conservation project set to begin 10 Nov

Soft toys sale in aid of turtle conservation 8 Nov

Australia: Turtle season begins at Mon Repos 7 Nov

Australia: Funds to help in turtle protection campaign 7 Nov

Six countries to launch Coral Triangle in Manado 7 Nov

Philippines Government aims to save Coral Triangle 6 Nov

Malaysia: Shell-shocked turtles land in lesser numbers 6 Nov

Coral reef replanting success for Sumatra island 5 Nov

Australia: NT 'a haven' for threatened turtles 4 Nov

Malaysia: 10,000 smuggled turtle eggs seized 4 Nov

Escalante mayor frees trapped green sea turtle 4 Nov

Philippines: Two hawksbill sea turtles released 1 Nov


for December 2008


Learn how each Signatory is working to implement the IOSEA MoU...


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