Second Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles has successfully
concluded in Kemer, Turkey (4-7 May 2005), with the participation
of nearly 200 participants from 20 countries.
The Conference has been jointly organized by the Secretariats
of CMS, Bern and Barcelona Conventions, with scientific
and technical support from IUCN/SSC-Marine Turtle Specialist
Group (MTSG) (Mediterranean Region). It has been hosted
by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry and
facilitated by WWF-Turkey.
The main purpose of the Conference was to allow researchers
and conservationists to present and discuss progresses in
sea turtle research and conservation since the First Conference,
held in Rome in 2001. Recent data presented at the Conference
and the preliminary results of an assessment undertaken
within the IUCN/SSC-MTSG confirmed the critically endangered
status of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) population
in the Mediterranean. Therefore it remains a top priority
for conservation in the region. Nevertheless, the reports
of significant nesting populations on beaches of Lebanon,
Turkey and Syria so far overlooked were positive. In this
regard, the conference made a call to complete surveys of
potential nesting beaches in still poorly explored coastal
areas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
With respect to the previous one, this Conference saw a
significant increase in the number of presentations dealing
with turtles at sea. This was a positive sign towards a
progressive readjustment of the historical unbalance between
conservation efforts at sea - where the turtle spend most
of their life - and on land. However, critical gaps of knowledge
still exist, notably on the interaction of turtles with
fisheries in several areas of the Mediterranean. The importance
of improving the knowledge of the distribution and movements
was also stressed, increasing the use of recent technologies
such as satellite telemetry and Geolocation Light Loggers
(GLS), the latter being considered very promising.
Details of the individual contributions to the conference
can be obtained from the Book
of Abstract, available for downloading [Link].
Efforts will be made to publish the proceedings of the Conference
in time to be presented at the 26th Sea Turtle Symposium
(Crete, Greece, 4-8 April 2006)
The next Conference will take place in Tunisia in 2008.
For more information please visit the conference