Northern Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force Concludes Meeting Cycle in the Anniversary Year

On 13-14 December 2021, the Northern Indian Ocean Marine Turtle Task Force held its third meeting (NIO-MTTF-3) online. Chaired by Mr Muralidharan Manoharakrishnan of the Dakshin Foundation, India, the aim of the meeting was to give an overview of the countries' achievements and issues encountered, and to reach agreement on recommendations for conservation, outreach, and research activities. Fifteen participants joined the meeting, including six Task Force Members nominated by the countries of the sub-region (Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). The meeting was also attended by two Advisory Committee Members, several observers, and the Secretariat.

Several countries in the sub-region were heavily affected by the pandemic, adding to the challenges for turtle conservation and research already experienced before. Task Force Members and Invited Experts discussed their experiences within the sub-region, identifying commonalities and differences, as well as options for future joint activities.

Participants were also briefed about progress with the implementation of the MOU Work Programme 2020-2024, including a comprehensive Assessment of the Conservation Status of Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the IOSEA Region (launch date: 25 March 2022 at ISTS Workshop), an updated Flipper Tag Series online database, and the launch of the interactive Atlas "TurtleNet". The Secretariat invited MTTF members to make use of these resources.

Recommendations discussed included approaches for bycatch mitigation and monitoring, with a focus on small-scale fisheries, as well as addressing knowledge gaps related to turtle conservation and management in the sub-region. Members also agreed to a revision of the terms of reference for the Task Force. The meeting concluded with the election of a new Chair (Lisama Sabry, Governmental Member Maldives) and Vice-Chair (Muralidharan Manoharakrishnan, NGO Member India). A warm thank you was given to the Chair, Muralidharan Manoharakrishnan, whose term as Chair had come to an end after leading the Task Force for the past six years.

The report of the meeting will become available in due course on this meeting webpage.

Last updated on 16 December 2021

Sri Lanka
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