IOSEA e-News for March 2013 (

International sea turtle symposium touches down in chilly Baltimore

Baltimore was in a celebratory mood when it hosted the 33rd Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation from 2-8 February 2013. Keeping to plan, the Baltimore Ravens football club won the NFL Superbowl XLVII in honour of the international gathering.

Adhering to a traditional formula, the symposium consisted of specialised workshops, oral presentation sessions, poster displays, and various other side meetings and events. The theme of the symposium was “connections”, which aptly describes one of the symposium’s important functions of bringing people together from all corners of the globe. More »


This month we are delighted to present a Profile that describes the work of the Kenya-based “Local Ocean Trust – Watamu Turtle Watch”. Combining in situ nest protection with a by-catch release programme and community outreach / education, LOT-WTW has put in place the essential ingredients of an exemplary turtle conservation programme. We hope to feature a more detailed article on LOT-WTW’s innovative by-catch release programme in the coming months.

For many in the global sea turtle community, the International Sea Turtle Symposium held in Baltimore was the main event of February. A feature article summarises some of the interesting aspects of the gathering from an IOSEA perspective. Here in Bangkok, the sixteenth meeting of CITES’ Conference of the Parties (COP16) will take center stage for the first half of March. The Coordinator will be involved as part of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) delegation.

The so-called “parallel process” to elicit suggestions of potential candidate sites for the IOSEA Site Network has gathered momentum over the past month, with many new contributions (or promises of same) received by the Secretariat. These have been compiled into a master list that will be circulated shortly for wider review and comment.

The Secretariat has recently taken on board some much needed temporary help to support these and other efforts. Ms. Siri Quade (who will be with us through the end of March) has been compiling information on a number of candidate sites, as a demonstration of how to complete the Site Information Sheets required in the formal nomination process. She has also been capturing GoogleEarth images of many of the potential candidate sites, which will be posted online shortly. Additionally, Ms. Pishum Migraine has just begun a five-month internship which will involve a variety of tasks, including compiling information on fisheries interacting with marine turtles in the IOSEA region, and we will benefit also from her native French language skills.

The News Headlines in February include, among others: an alarming report on the steep decline in nesting of leatherback turtles at a key site in Indonesia, a significant study from India documenting high levels of habitat destruction and predation by humans and animals, positive news of a recently discovered loggerhead rookery in Western Australia, and a reference to important research examining turtle resilience to climate change impacts. Also, the Message Board contains links to a half-dozen interesting new items gleaned from partner organisations.

Before closing, we would like to acknowledge the voluntary contributions to the IOSEA programme recently received from the Governments of Oman and Maldives, as well as steps initiated in Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand that hopefully will bear fruit in the coming weeks and months.

Finally, it’s time to sound like a broken record: If you have news to share about sea turtle conservation activities of interest to others working in the IOSEA region, please consider contributing a feature article to the IOSEA website – that’s what it’s there for!

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

India: Ban on fishing - Fishermen demand alternative jobs 28 Feb

Philippines: Army unit facilitates release of sea turtle in Castilla 27 Feb

Coral reef corrosion is worse than we thought 27 Feb

Salvage crews break up US Navy ship in Philippines 27 Feb

Indonesia: Hatching turtle surprises beach visitors 26 Feb

Leatherback sea turtle could be extinct within 20 years 26 Feb

India: Shrinking G’matha no more suitable to Olive Ridleys 25 Feb

New maps depict potential worldwide coral bleaching 25 Feb

Coral reef bleaching attributed to climate change 25 Feb

India: Near Alang, lost habitats of sea turtles 24 Feb

Goa to set up first interpretation centre on turtle beach 24 Feb

14 Olive Ridley turtle nests found along Chennai coast 22 Feb

Turtle cleverly tucks into poisonous 15-foot jellyfish 21 Feb

India: Three lakh Ridleys lay eggs at Rushikulya 20 Feb

Saving sea turtles from extinction 19 Feb

Tiny the turtle to set off on big adventure into the wild 18 Feb

India: Safety of Olive Ridley’s turns turtle 16 Feb

New Zealand: Giant of the ocean spotted off the Coromandel 14 Feb

India: Olive Ridley turtles start mass nesting 14 Feb

Kenya: Rare Hawksbill turtle dies in Watamu 13 Feb

India: Olive Ridley turtles start early nesting in Odisha 13 Feb

India: ‘Half of sea turtle nests on state beaches being predated’ 12 Feb

Japan: Artificial legs boost limbless loggerhead turtle 12 Feb

India: “Time to save sea turtles” 11 Feb

India: Endangered Olive Ridley turtles carcasses found on AP coast 10 Feb

Western Australia: Key loggerhead turtle discovery 10 Feb

Thailand: 132 ASEAN youths release turtles in Sattahip 8 Feb

Sudden rise in turtle deaths along Chennai coast 5 Feb

Scientists gathering to discuss sea turtle conservation 5 Feb

Contraband threatens Indonesia sea turtle 5 Feb

Health risks from contact with captive sea turtles 5 Feb

DNA reveals mating patterns of hawksbill turtle 4 Feb

Australia: Turtle nests gone at Mon Repos 2 Feb

India: Two Olive Ridley hatchlings herald breeding season 1 Feb


for March 2013


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