Field biologists, conservationists, government administrators,
managers of protected areas from all Mediterranean countries
attended the Third Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles
in Hamammet, Tunisia 20-23 October to discuss biology and
conservation of marine turtles in this region.
Scientists presented the most recent scientific findings
and developments in sea turtle research, management, and
conservation aspects in the Mediterranean region. Thematic
sessions focused on anatomy, physiology and health, nesting
beaches, marine areas, distribution and population, conservation
tools and strategies.
The Mediterranean Turtle Conference is a joint initiative
of the Barcelona Convention, Bern convention, the IUCN’s
Marine Turtle Specialist Group and the Bonn Convention (CMS).
The conservation of marine turtles has a prominent role
within CMS. Six marine turtle species are presently included
in CMS Appendix I.
CMS promotes basic research such as surveys of nesting
beaches, genetic and satellite-tracking studies to help
elucidate migration patterns and assess incidental catches.
Information materials, a GIS mapping facility for nesting
beaches of the Indian Ocean and capacity building through
regional training/policy workshops, conservation techniques
manual are among the other activities and services undertaken
by the convention..
CMS also encourages regional co operation through specialized
Agreements. At present, two specialized instrument on marine
turtles have been concluded under the aegis of the Convention,
concerning the Atlantic coast of Africa and the Indian Ocean/South-east
Asia respectively. Negotiations to establish a further intergovernmental
instrument for the conservation of marine turtles in the
Pacific are due to start in 2009. Starting at a regional
level and focusing in particular on developing countries,
CMS is working towards an interlinked, global framework
for the conservation of marine turtles.
The Conference was hosted by the Institut National des
Sciences et Technologies de la Mer (INSTM), Tunisia, in
collaboration with the Regional Activity Centre for Specially
Protected Areas (RAC/SPA).