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.
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.
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"
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