First oiled sea turtle response training presented in Greece
April marked the first ever EUROWA training workshop on oiled sea turtle response, which was held in Glyfada, Greece. The 3-day workshop was part of the EUROWA-2 project, which aims to establish an oiled sea turtle response training module for the EUROWA network.
Sea turtle specialists with long-standing expertise in sea turtle rehabilitation, nesting beaches and ecology from around the Mediterranean basin, attended this first workshop.
Sixteen experts came from Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia and Israel to attend the workshop, organized by SUBMON, the Sea Alarm Foundation and Royal NIOZ with the help of local organizer Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. Sea Alarm provided training in general oil-spill response and preparation, and presented the philosophy, setup and activities of the EUROWA network.
Divided into two training courses, the workshop included both theory and practical sessions. The one-day Basic Responder course included lectures on how a general oil spill response works, and how to organize an oiled sea turtle response within it. The participants also learned how to coordinate search & collection of animals at sea and along the shore, what the basic needs of oiled sea turtles in a rescue center are, how to look after them and how to reduce the impacts of beach clean-up activities on sea turtle nesting beaches.
The two day Advanced Responder course included lectures on how to set-up a rescue center for oiled sea turtles, how to separate dirty and clean areas, how to deal with oiled wastewater, and what specific complications to look for in these species. A practical session at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre gave the participants the opportunity to practice protocols for washing sea turtles.
The participants from ARCHELON were: Aliki Panagopoulou- Research Coordinator, Dimitris Fytilis- Rescue Centre Officer, Eirini Kasimati-Rescue network and Rehabilitation Officer and Michalis Moraitis – Rehabilitation Assistant.