President, International Sea Turtle Society, c/o ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece,
Solomou 57, GR-10432 Athens,Greece


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Following previous announcements (MTN 108: 29; MTN 109: 18-19), please find below all the new information, which will assist you to make definite travel arrangements for the Symposium and, if you wish, to combine it with some holidays in Greece. I have tried to include alternative options considering your travel, places to eat outside the hotel, as well as trips both on Crete and/or from Athens. My major concern is to have everybody feel comfortable, and be part of the family no matter where he/she comes from and what he/she can afford. As you read these lines new information, concerning hotel reservation, registration, field trips, etc., might be already posted at the Symposium website which I urge you to visit regularly for keeping up with updates.

Why Crete? We have selected the Island of Crete in Greece for a number of reasons: it is located in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean at equal distances from Africa and Asia; it hosts a genetically important loggerhead nesting population; ARCHELON, the local host of the Symposium, conducts monitoring and conservation projects on Crete and interacts with the local authorities and communities; it is an island with a unique cultural identity and landscape diversity; it has a high-standard tourism and ample facilities to contain our gigantic event.

Venue, Transportation to Hotel: The Symposium venue is Capsis Beach Hotel, located at Aghia Pelaghia, a small village 25 km from Heraklion International Airport or 22 km from Heraklion town and harbor (for those who will arrive by ferry). The best way to reach the hotel is by taxi (estimated price: 25 Euros, from either the airport or the harbor); taxis in Greece can take up to 4 passengers, provided that their luggage can fit in. Further, you can rent a car at the airport (car rental for a medium-size car is about 70 Euros per day, with unlimited mileage and full insurance; of course there are several smaller companies with less expensive offers). If you drive from the airport you follow the national highway, going west towards Rethymno town. After about 20 km you will see the sign to Aghia Pelaghia, turn right and after about 3 km you arrive at the hotel entrance.

How you can reach Heraklion: Heraklion is the capital city of Crete; with about 150,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north coast of Crete. You can get to Heraklion by the following ways:

By plane. The cheapest way to reach Heraklion is by air from Athens. All major airlines book tickets to Heraklion, mainly through the Athens International Airport. However, from some European cities there is a limited number of charter flights directly to Heraklion.

By boat. Heraklion has a large harbor, with daily ferries from Piraeus (the main port of Athens). The ferries sail usually at night (departing about 2000 and arriving at Heraklion 0600). This is very convenient as you do not lose daytime for traveling. A “deck-ticket” costs about 33 Euros/per person one way. A berth in a 4-berth cabin costs about 55 Euros one-way. You can have your own 4-berth cabin if you find the other 3 persons, irrespective of sex; otherwise there are separate 4-berth cabins for males and females, all with private bathroom. A two-berth cabin, with private bathroom, costs about 70 Euros per person one-way. Check before booking your tickets for departure times as these may change. Please check Pre-Symposium Trips below for further information and ideas.

Pre-Symposium Trips: For those of you who will have a stop-over in Athens we have some ideas on one-day trips to famous archaeological sites like Delfi and Mycenae. You can find these options by visiting . Please contact them directly for any arrangements that suit you.

Booking of Rooms: You can reserve a room at the hotel through the hotel’s website . Please fill all the requested items in the Hotel Booking Form. Make sure you provide also the names of your roommates. If you encounter any problems or difficulties, please contact the Symposium Coordinator Thanos Belalidis ( Although the deadline for reserving rooms seems far away (1 March 2006), you are advised to book your room the soonest possible, as rooms will be reserved on a “first-in/first-served” basis. We have arranged to keep the same prices well before and after the Symposium (if you would like to come earlier or extend your stay on Crete). See below Post-Symposium Trips.

Food and Drinks

In the Hotel. You can have lunch or dinner at the hotel main restaurant (self-service) for 20 Euros. In the hotel there are also other restaurants and a traditional Tavernas with a-la-carte prices. Registered participants can have a light lunch, during the Symposium lunch breaks, in the form of a sandwich and soft drink for 5 Euros. Registered participants will have a 15% price discount in all bars within the hotel.

Outside the Hotel. There are several tavernas, cafés and bars in the nearby village of Aghia Pelaghia (less than 5 min walk from the hotel). We will recommend on-site the best choices as far as good, traditional and inexpensive food and drinks are concerned. Indicative cost of a medium meal: 12 Euros.

Registration and ISTS membership: All those who will attend the Symposium must register. Pre-registration deadline is 15 November 2005 if you want to avoid the higher fees associated with late registration. Pre-registration fee is $115.00 (U.S. dollars) for regular members of the International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS) and $60.00 for student members. Late registration (after 15 November 2005) will be $150.00 for regular members and $75 for student members. The registration fee should be paid on-line (in U.S. dollars) through the Symposium website . If, however, you prefer to mail your payments, please follow the instructions below:

Ask for a Registration Form from the address below (either through e-mail, fax or ordinary post) and, after you fill it, please mail it to the postal address below together with a cheque (in either U.S. dollars or Euros), payable to the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.
ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
Attn. Chrysanthe Otzakoglou
Solomou 57, GR-104 32 Athens, Greece
Tel./Fax: +30-210-5231342

Please send the Registration Form and the cheque by using either registered mail or private courier. Do not forget to include the cheque together with the Registration Form. You will receive a confirmation as soon as the above have been received.

During your on-line (or postal) registration you will have the option of paying also for tickets to the Welcome Cocktail and the Farewell Party (see below).

Program: The Program Committee, comprising of no less than 35 people, will lead us through the following thematic sessions:

  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Population Biology and Monitoring
  • Conservation, Management and Policy
  • Social Science Research
  • Education, Outreach and Advocacy
  • Behaviour and Movements
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Health
  • Fisheries
  • In addition, two Special Sessions have been fixed:
  • Turtles and Climate Change
  • Ecological Roles of Marine Turtles

In this Symposium, emphasis will be given to sea turtle conservation and research in Africa and in the Mediterranean. An important Panel Discussion with the preliminary title: “Cooperative Approaches to Finding Sea Turtle Bycatch Solutions in Longline Fisheries” is scheduled with the participation of several experts covering most ocean basins. A special presentation by the IUCN’s Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) will bring forward the outcome of a recent workshop on Burning Issues on sea turtle research and conservation (coordinator: Rod Mast).

I remind you that the Program Committee invests a significant emphasis on the poster sessions during the Symposium.

If you have further suggestions for Workshops, Discussions or other side-events, please contact the Program Chair Dr Brendan Godley or the Program Coordinator Dr Kartik Shanker

Call for Papers: All abstracts for oral or poster presentations must be submitted on-line. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 November 2005. The instructions for composing and submitting abstracts are found at the symposium website. Abstracts (250 words maximum) need to be of high quality or they may be rejected by the Program Committee.

If you cannot access the Symposium website, you may send your abstract and the additional information required (see below) to Alan Rees, either through e-mail to or by registered mail (or private courier) to the following postal address: ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, Attn. Alan Rees, Solomou 57, GR-10432 Athens, Greece. In case you use the post or courier, please have your abstract and the additional information, as a Microsoft Word file, on a diskette (please avoid sending a hard copy). Make sure that you have mailed your abstract by 15 November 2005, at the latest.

Always remember that registration and payment are required before you will be allowed to submit abstracts.

Information required for abstract submission

  1. Name of presenting author
  2. Email of presenting author (an e-mail contact is required)
  3. Fax number of presenting author
  4. Date this information was submitted (DD/MM/YY)
  5. Title of presentation (ALL IN UPPERCASE)
  6. All authors of the presentation in the order you want them to appear in the program. Place each author’s name on a separate line.
  7. Author(s) affiliation(s) in the same order as above. Please clarify any multiple affiliations.
  8. Abstract describing your presentation (250 words maximum). The abstracts must be submitted in English.
  9. The session to which you are submitting your presentation. You must choose the most appropriate session given above under Program. If it does not fit under any of the sessions, please label it as “Other” and the Program Committee will place it in the most appropriate session.
  10. Specify the type of presentation you wish to make. Your choices are: oral, poster, either oral or poster, or video/film.
  11. Equipment needed. Your choices are: slide projector, overhead projector, computer projector with MS Power Point, video/DVD player, or other (please give details).
  12. Indicate whether you are a student and whether you would like to be considered for the Archie Carr Student Paper Awards (given to both oral and poster presentations of merit). Recently graduated presenters who are presenting work done as students will qualify for these awards.
  13. Indicate if you need an acceptance letter sent to someone else.

Notice of Acceptance: Final decisions on abstract acceptance will be made by the Program Committee. All first authors will be notified of the acceptance of their oral or poster by 15 January 2006. If you need an acceptance letter sent to someone other than yourself, please specify this in your abstract submission.

Proceedings: In this Symposium we will make an attempt to have the Proceedings ready on-site. For this we shall need your help as follows: The authors of the accepted initial abstracts (250 words max) will have the opportunity to modify and/or extend their abstracts up to 500 words (without graphics and/or tables). This can be done on-line, through the Symposium website, by 15 February 2006 at the latest. Those unable to access the Symposium website can send their extended or modified abstracts on a diskette as described above under Call for Papers. In case of no submission of extended abstracts, the original abstract (if accepted) will be published in the Proceedings.

Cancellations: If you are about to cancel your presentation, please inform immediately the Program Chair Dr Brendan Godley or the Program Coordinator Dr Kartik Shanker

Travel Grants: The deadline for travel grant applications is 15 November 2005. Instructions for Travel Grants can be found on the Symposium website.

Regional Meetings: The following regional meetings are scheduled so far:
Africa 4 April, Jacques Fretey
IOSEA (Indian Ocean & South-East Asia), 4 April,
Douglas Hykle
Mediterranean, 3 & 4 April, Paolo Casale
RETOMALA (Latin America), 3 & 4 April,
Ana Barragan
WIDECAST (Caribbean), 3 & 4 April,
Karen Eckert

For more specific information on the regional meetings, please contact the individual meeting coordinators specified above.

Post-symposium Trips: We have arranged with a local travel agency some guided trips on Crete, all after the end of the Symposium. These trips, combining nature walks and archaeological/cultural visits, will be held between 8 and 10 April 2006. You may find detailed information at: Please, contact the agency directly for any arrangements you might wish. In case you encounter any difficulty or problem, please contact the Symposium Coordinator Thanos Belalidis

Resolutions: If you wish to submit a resolution proposal to be considered by the Board of Directors of the ISTS, please follow the Resolution Guidelines posted to the Symposium website. Resolution proposals can be submitted on-line through the Symposium website and the deadline for submission is 31 January 2006. For an update on the current status of resolutions, see an article on the recent ISTS BoD retreat in this issue of the Marine Turtle Newsletter.

Vendor & Display Tables: Vendor & Display Tables will be located at the Exhibition Hall, which is very close to the Posters’ area and the coffee-breaks’ area. We have done this on purpose in order to allow people to have an enjoyable daylight socializing area. By renting a Vendor & Display Table you can exhibit or sell items from your organization (e.g., books, handicrafts, brochures) or advertise products from your company or agency. It is possible to install an internet line or power supply (220 Volts) at your Table, as per your request. For further information please contact the Vendor & Display Table Coordinator Aliki Panagopoulou

Coffee-break Sponsors: Several companies and organizations have already promised to sponsor a coffee-break or part of it. We thank them very much. We need some more sponsors. I remind you that one coffee-break for 600 people will cost about 2,700 Euros (about 3,300 USD at the time of writing this) but we can do with less by splitting a coffee-break among several sponsors. Sponsors’ names will be acknowledged on site, unless they do not wish so. Please, consider this need and do your best to locate potential sponsors to cover this heavy Symposium expense.

Welcome Cocktail: It will contain the usual canapés with free beer or soft drink in the beautiful surroundings overlooking the Aegean Sea. And of course, some local surprises…..

Farewell Party: We are currently investigating various options to combine the usual “banquet dinner” with something local and traditional. It is more than certain that we will fix something good for you with the help of the many local friends and the weather, of course. We have also arranged a reduced ticket for “students”.

Visas: You can find out which nationalities need a visa to enter Greece at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website: Please, apply for a visa well in advance to the Consulates of Greece in your country (contact details can be found at: If you encounter difficulties in obtaining a visa, please contact the Symposium Coordinator Thanos Belalidis explaining the problem and providing your full personal details; we will try to help you but we shall need plenty of time for that.

Volunteers: We have already a number of dedicated Greek volunteers, mostly members or friends of ARCHELON. But we need international participation. Seize the pleasure of being a volunteer for the Symposium on Crete and be prepared to interact with the Greek volunteers. If interested, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator Brian Hutchinson

Accompanying members: If you are considering bringing members of your family with you, not participating in the Symposium, please note that there are various things to do either in the hotel (spa facilities, animation, indoor and outdoor sports), the surrounding village of Aghia Pelaghia, other nearby villages or Heraklion town.

Communications: Please do not neglect to regularly visit the Symposium website for updated information. If you have any questions, please contact the Symposium Coordinator Thanos Belalidis or myself.

See you all on Crete!