The 30th International Annual Symposium on Sea Turtles Biology and Conservation
Every year, the International Sea Turtle Society holds its Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. This year, the 30th Annual symposium was organized in Goa, India and it was the first time that the symposium came to the South Asian region.
This event was jointly hosted and organized by sea turtle conservation groups and research organizations as well as institutions that work on marine environment issues across India and South Asia. Based on previous Annual Symposia of the ISTS, we were expecting up to 700 participants, from as many as 50 countries across the world. The ISTS Annual Symposium is truly unique, drawing an enormous number and diversity of people interested in these intriguing animals and their habitats.
Theme: The world of turtles (from the symposium website)
Sea turtles inhabit the land and the sea. They connect the shallow nearshore waters to the open sea, cold temperate to warm tropical waters. They migrate across ocean basins. And through several thousands of years, they have connected us ecologically and culturally to the sea. The thirtieth annual symposium on sea turtle biology and conservation will seek to explore these connections and focus on the world they live in. The world of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, open seas and sandy beaches. The world of people, living and working on the coast or at sea; of fishing cultures and livelihoods. All connected by sea turtles and by us.
In keeping with the theme of the symposium, the programme attempts to draw attention to marine and coastal habitats, fisheries and other livelihoods related issues, environmental impacts, and much, much more, within the context of sea turtle biology and conservation.
The actual symposium ran from the 27th to the 29th of April but a lot of other meetings are scheduled before and after.
On the 24th we decided to get up early and follow the first 2 workshops. The one on statistics was intensive and very practical. This will hopefully allow us a better understanding of our data. The second one on invasive species gave us a better insight on the modification of our environment whether they are human related or natural. The way to deal with those changes was also elaborated.
On the 25th I decided to follow the Fisheries Forum in the morning to see how issues with fisheries are addressed in other areas. The interaction between conservation, livelihood and sustainability are sometimes difficult to combine. The collaboration with local communities seems to be the key to positive achievements.
In the afternoon I joined the Indian Ocean and South East Asia Regional Meeting. I have worked in Asia and wanted to have some updates on the situation. It also gave different approaches to similar problems.
On the 26th the discussion was enlarged to other animals with a session about conservation of Marine Turtles and Dugongs: Shared Synergies and Opportunities. It was interesting to learn about animals that have a close interaction with turtles. It was clearly shown how conservation groups can collaborate to achieve better information beneficial to both species.
Never the less the Mediterranean Meeting, has become a wonderful opportunity to exchange information and meet with people that share common targets. An update was given with the presentation of the latest Mediterranean Sea Turtle Report, a sum of all information available on a regional level. The Mediterranean Conference planned to be in 2011 was confirmed.
A special edition on the Marine Turtle Newsletter about the Mediterranean regional was also announced. More collaboration is necessary with a Mediterranean section on the MTSG website (Marine Turtle Specialist Group).
Also the idea to publish a Mediterranean nesting and stranding database on seaturtle.org was suggested.
Between the 27th and the 29th of April, a large number of talks were given covering a wide number of topics from nesting to fisheries bycatch. Several of those were given by members of ARCHELON.
“ANOTHER DECLINING LOGGERHEAD POPULATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN: BAY OF CHANIA, GREECE” by Dimitris Margaritoulis, Alan F. Rees, Christopher Dean, and Aliki Panagopoulou.
“FIELD EXPERIMENT TO ASSESS LOGGERHEAD HATCHLING ORIENTATION DISRUPTION BY ARTIFICIAL LIGHT OF DIFFERENT WAVELENGTHS by Nikos Vallianos, John R. Speakman and Dimitris Margaritoulis
“EDUCATION AND OUTREACH: AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN THE PROTECTION OF LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES ON THE ISLAND OF CRETE, GREECE” by Aliki Panagopoulou, Maria Stravaridou and Dimitris Margaritoulis
A poster was presented named “THE PERCEPTIONS OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES TOWARDS MARINE PROTECTED AREAS AND THE CONSERVATION OF THE LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE; THE CASE STUDY OF THE BAY OF KYPARISSIA” by Niki Diogou, Ross J. Clifford, D. Dimopoulos and R. Perkins.
Another talk was given by Alan Rees called “SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO: OLIVE RIDLEY POST-NESTING MIGRATIONS” Alan F. Rees, Salim Al Saadi, Nancy Papathanasopoulou, Michael S. Coyne, Annette C. Broderick, and Brendan J. Godley
My main impression about this symposium was very positive because of the importance given to human interactions in the conservation process. It targeted especially local communities and fishermen. This brings around the table all different parties to participate actively in creating solutions for all interests. (Pavlos Tsaros)
Peak Nesting of Endangered Sea Turtles Threatened by Oil Spill
The World of Turtles awards the lifetime achievement of Dimitris Margaritoulis
- OUR NEWS27/09/2023
World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?
But why is tourism important to sea turtles?
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!
In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON
ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece announces an important outcome of the systematic work of this year's sea turtle nest monitoring team in Zakynthos. Based on their long-term observations, ARCHELON managed to certify a new World Record of reproductive activity for loggerhead turtles.
- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!
The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!
Help us spread the message about the protection of sea turtles by making your own baby turtles with natural materials you will find on the beach. Sand, stones, pebbles, shells, seaweed, sticks and whatever else you have available, can be transformed with a little imagination! Take a photo of your work and send it to the ARCHELON Beach Competition.
- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region
Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!
The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach
The nesting season for the loggerhead sea turtles has begun. The nests that are made in the areas monitored by ARCHELON and other collaborating groups are already being recorded. However, if you find tracks or nests on other beaches, you can also participate in the effort to record and protect these sporadic nests. Find out why it's important…
- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
This is the year when ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, is celebrating 40 years of continuous and targeted action to save sea turtles in Greece and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the project teams of ARCHELON are ready to register the longest period of active reproduction known for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in case it happens this year!
- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
ARCHELON invites kids and adults to celebrate the environment and the sea in an exciting way at the "Sea Turtle Festival" on Saturday, May 27 at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada.
- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
Highlight: Hi everyone! This year marks 40 years of ARCHELON’s action for protecting sea turtles in Greece. During these four decades, thousands of volunteers from many countries joined our sea turtle projects and the Rescue Centre to help save the turtles. Let’s meet again this coming September and celebrate the animals we saved during all these years.
- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
People are supporting wildlife conservation
The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…