02/05/2024

A successful year for the International Sea Turtle Symposium

The International Sea Turtle Symposium concluded triumphantly this March in Pattaya, Thailand, with ARCHELON actively participating. Annually, members of the International Sea Turtle Society gather to exchange knowledge, share findings, and foster collaborations, all united by the common goal of advancing research and conservation efforts for sea turtle species worldwide.

Under the slogan of 'All in, all together,' this year's Symposium, held in Pattaya, Thailand between 24 and 29 March 2024 witnessed the dedication of over 130 individuals who worked tirelessly in various capacities, from Chairpersons to Workshop Organizers and Session Chairs. Spanning six days, with approximately 500 participants from across the globe, the Symposium featured a rich program, encompassing presentations and posters across a spectrum of vital topics including Anatomy, Physiology, and Health; In-Water Biology; Nesting Biology; Population Biology and Monitoring; Fisheries and Threats; Conservation, Management, and Policy; Education, Outreach, and Advocacy; Social, Economic, and Cultural Studies; Rehabilitation, Health, and Veterinary Care; Technology and Sea Turtles; and Origin Stories and Stories from the Field.

ARCHELON in the ISTS

In addition to these academic endeavors, numerous workshops delved into crucial subjects such as Bycatch Assessment and Mitigation, Drones, and Photo ID, among others. Regional meetings provided neighboring countries with a platform to address shared challenges and opportunities in sea turtle conservation.

ARCHELON, with its four decades of dedicated work in Greece for the protection of sea turtles, made significant contributions to the Symposium. Notably, presentations included "Unveiling a recently discovered loggerhead sea turtle nesting site in Greece producing a predominance of male hatchlings" by Anna Lamaj and co-author Galini Samlidou, “Show us the turtle, learn the story”: An interactive platform for personalised engagement with sea turtle conservation in a Mediterranean tourist hotspot by Kostas Papafitsoros with the co-authors Vincent Tarrit, Lukas Adam, Anna Stamatiou, Galini Samlidou, and Aliki Panagopoulou, and "Tracking male turtles from Kyparissia Bay, Western Greece, the largest loggerhead rookery in the Mediterranean" by Alan F. Rees and co-author Odysseas Paxinos. Additionally, ARCHELON's expertise enriched various other presentations throughout the Symposium. ARCHELON’s Research Coordinator, Dr. Aliki Panagopoulou co-chaired the Mediterranean Reunion, attended by 40 ISTS participants from the region where we shared news, programs under way and new collaborations.

ARCHELON ISTS

Amidst the serious discourse, attendees also had the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture and bonding activities, including traditional dances, auctions, and enjoyable video nights.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the organizers and all participants who journeyed from around the globe to share their experiences and expertise on sea turtles. Above all, we celebrate the bonds forged and renewed friendships strengthened during this event, affirming that sea turtles truly bring people together. Until next year in Ghana!

group photo of the international sea turtle symposium

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