IOSEA e-News for November 2009 (

Do you know this green turtle?

Rescued green turtleOn 21 October 2009, the Sea Turtle Conservation Station located on Koh Mannai (Island) in ‎the Gulf of Thailand received into its care a green turtle rescued from a fishing net, about 9 ‎km offshore, near Chantaburi province. Apart from scarring on its left eye, the turtle ‎appeared to be in relatively good condition.‎

After the turtle was brought to the centre, veterinarian Thanainun Knowcome made a routine check for the presence of a PIT (Passive Integrated Transponder) tag. ‎Researchers sometimes implant these small microchips – about the size of a grain of rice – ‎into the shoulder muscle of a turtle in order to facilitate identification in case the turtle is ‎later recaptured. Typically, researchers in Thailand inject the PIT into the left ‎shoulder.‎  More »

Eritrea’s Ministry of Marine Resources warns against killing sea turtles

Mr. Mohammed Eyah, Acting Head of Southern Red Sea Region Branch Office The Southern Red Sea Region Branch Office of the Ministry of Marine Resources has announced, through the national newspaper ‘Hadas Eritrea’, that ‎no turtles should be killed or their products sold.

The Acting Head of the office, Mr. Mohammed ‎Eyah, informed the newspaper that his office has sent official letters to different stakeholders -- such as ‎the Southern Red Sea Regional Administration (‘Zoba’), the Police, the Navy and other ‎Ground Force offices in the region to cooperate in controlling the illegal slaughtering of sea turtles. ‎  More »


The Secretariat is delighted to announce the formal launch this month of the new IOSEA Bibliography Resource, intended to support turtle practitioners in the Western Indian Ocean. Under preparation and testing for several months, this latest tool on the IOSEA website offers a versatile search and retrieval system for nearly 550 documents related to turtle conservation in the WIO region.

There has been a good response to the launch in September of the IOSEA Technical Support and Capacity-Building programme. Already, several eligible countries have submitted proposals to take advantage of the assistance on offer from the Advisory Committee, which will be reviewed shortly.

October was an interesting month for turtle-related news. Among the Headline News stories we have been following is the ongoing saga of a large oil well leak threatening marine life in the Timor Sea, off northwest Australia. (In fact, the situation is reported to have taken a turn for the worse today. The oil rig platform erupted in flames during efforts to plug the well, which is reported to have leaked as much as 30,000 barrels of oil since August.)

Coincidentally, from India, a number of articles reported on efforts underway to pump out oil from a Mongolian vessel that sunk off the Paradip coast in Orissa. Several other articles documented ongoing threats to marine turtles in various countries of the IOSEA region, including hunting in Australia, light pollution in India, and marine debris in Thailand. More positively, reports from Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, South Africa and Sri Lanka, offered the prospect of more concerted efforts to protect the marine environment. Click on the links below for these and other Headlines.

Elsewhere, colleagues in the United States have been busy drafting terms of reference for IOSEA Focal Points and developing a paper on options for moving ahead with the IOSEA ‘Site Network’, in keeping with a commitment to pursue these issues following the Fifth Meeting of IOSEA Signatory States. It is expected that these drafts will be circulated for wider comment in the coming weeks.

Advisory Committee member Mark Hamman has kick-started the forthcoming ‘Loggerhead Assessment’ process by circulating a draft outline to interested colleagues.

Zahirul Islam, of the Bangladesh NGO MarineLife Alliance, visited the Secretariat in October and provided an update on important turtle-related developments in that country. He took advantage of his short stay to visit the Sea Turtle Conservation Station in the Gulf of Thailand and to pick up some essential field equipment for research work in Bangladesh.

November begins with inception workshops two substantial FAO/GEF projects of interest to IOSEA, both taking place in/near Bangkok on overlapping dates: one for the "Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project", and a second for the "Bycatch Management and Reduction of Discards in Trawl Fisheries" project.

Last but not least, the Secretariat would like to acknowledge an important voluntary contribution received in October from South Africa towards the continuation of the IOSEA MoU operations; as well as firm pledges of support from France and the United Kingdom which are expected to materialise shortly.

MONTHLY ROUND-UP: What you may have missed in October
Hover over each title to see a summary of the article

Wunjunga the green turtle released from turtle hospital 30 Oct

Tourist resort on Great Keppel Island knocked back 30 Oct

Malaysia: Coral Triangle under threat 28 Oct

Coral ‘cryobank’ saves reef species 26 Oct

Major spill off Australian coast threatens marine life 24 Oct

US firm to start pumping out oil from sunken ship 23 Oct

Malaysia: All round effort to protect turtles 22 Oct

South Africa/Mozambique: Transfrontier marine park a first 21 Oct

Church bells to toll for first turtle of the season 21 Oct

Australia: Reef may get heritage listing nomination 20 Oct

East Timor hatches plan for turtle tourism 19 Oct

India: Lightmare on Olive Ridley street 19 Oct

Coral reefs worth 1.2 million dollars per hectare, per year 17 Oct

Third attempt to plug Australia oil leak fails 17 Oct

Monster fish ‘swallowed turtle whole’ 16 Oct

Australia: Turtle hospital patient heads home 15 Oct

Australia: Hunting hurts turtle stocks 13 Oct

Indonesia: New govt quota system to preserve coral reefs 13 Oct

Australia: Be kind to our finned friends 13 Oct

SC notice to environ ministry, Orissa on Tata-L&T project 11 Oct

Hawksbill turtles returning to nest in Malacca, study finds 9 Oct

India: US firm to pump out oil from sunken ship 9 Oct

Orissa forms crisis group to monitor oil spill off Paradip 8 Oct

India: Olive Ridleys exposed to oil spill off Odisha coast 6 Oct

Phuket biologists bear never-die nets, plastic 5 Oct

Indonesia: Project offers hope for ecosystem 2 Oct

Sound machines could help monitor health of coral reefs 1 Oct

Sri Lanka aims to save last reef on south coast 1 Oct


for November 2009


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