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 Global map of human impacts to marine ecosystems


The map has been developed by the National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at University of California. The goal was to “estimate and visualize, for the first time, the global impact humans are having on the ocean’s ecosystems”. Their analysis shows that “over 40% of the world’s oceans are heavily affected by human activities and few if any areas remain untouched”. A KML file is available for download, to allow you to view the map in Google Earth.

The Ocean Conservancy’s SEE turtles best practice for turtle viewing guidelines

The guidelines are downloadable as a PDF. The document includes straightforward advice on how to Live Blue, Go Local, Protect Beach Habitat, behave In the Water and behave On a Nesting Beach when you travel to a destination where there are sea turtles. It is all about responsible travel and tourism.’s Groups Directory facility

The vision is for the Directory to become a comprehensive database of groups around the world involved with sea turtles. As the database matures it will also be used to add new group-level access to various tools and services. All conservation, government, academic, research, management, and any other types of organizations working with sea turtles are encouraged to submit an entry. Once you have added your group, please remember to update the details as necessary.

Seagrass Watch’s website

Currently 18 countries participate in Seagrass Watch’s global seagrass monitoring. The program aims to “raise awareness on the condition and trend of nearshore seagrass ecosystems and provide an early warning of major coastal environment changes”. The website includes information on how to participate. Additionally, PDFs of selected reports and papers on seagrass, e.g. status and trends, are available on the website under “Info centre”.

The Indian Ocean South-East Asian (IOSEA) Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding website

This website has had a recent upgrade, making it even more user-friendly, informative and visually appealing. Some of the website’s key features are:

  • Extensive information on the purpose and workings of the IOSEA MoU and its subsidiary bodies.
  • A home page featuring Monthly Project Profiles, a Message Board, News Headlines, Useful Contacts, and links to Dates of Interest, Archives, and the subscription form for those wishing to receive the monthly IOSEA E-News by email.
  • IOSEA Online Reporting Facility: This allows Signatory States to submit and update National Report information and allows the rest of us to view and query the contents interactively.
  • Projects Database: Provides information on marine turtle conservation projects throughout the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia.
  • Marine Turtle Interactive Mapping System (IMapS): Provides access to reliable and current information on marine turtles. The system enables the user to combine and print the various available data and layers on demand, e.g. distribution, abundance, migration, presence and extent of sea grasses, coral reefs, mangroves.
  • Flipper Tag Series lookup table: See who is using what letter/number series on their tags. The table has been prepared in the interest of preventing duplication of tag numbers, as well as standardising flipper tag codes used throughout the Indian Ocean – South-East Asia region. Anyone who is currently tagging turtles in any of the 40 IOSEA States, or who has accurate information on tag series that have been used in the past, is encouraged to provide the relevant details for inclusion in the table.
  • Electronic Library: Contains turtle related Reference Materials (Journals/Newsletters, Studies/Reports/Other, Conservation and Management Manuals, Workshop Proceedings, Action Plans, Directories), Papers, Powerpoint Presentations, Education Materials, and Dates of Interest (events calendar).
  • Genetics Directory: This new facility is will provide basic information on researchers working on sea turtle genetics around the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia. Geneticists – as well as others collecting samples and using the results of genetics research for the benefit of turtle conservation – are encouraged to include their details in the directory.

(information summarised from the IOSEA website)


29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation – Latest News

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The International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS)’s annual symposium is the premier event on the international sea turtle community’s calendar. It brings together researchers, policy makers, resource managers, coastal community members, non-government organisations, relevant businesses, sea turtle enthusiasts and volunteers from all over the world to share their findings, expertise, and experiences.

The 29th Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation will be held in Brisbane, Australia on the 17-19th of February 2009 (with regional meetings beforehand). The theme is Creating Community Collaborations. Abstracts and travel grant submissions have now closed. Registration is still open. The 2009 symposium website ( contains a wealth of information on the coming event, while the ISTS website ( presents key information about the society itself.

Preparations are in full swing as Australian turtlers prepare to welcome delegates from around the world to subtropical Brisbane.


What’s happening at IOSEA


The Fifth Meeting of the Signatory States to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 20-23 August 2008. The meeting was organised by the Directorate of Conservation and Marine National Parks, in cooperation with the IOSEA Secretariat and WWF-Indonesia; and coordinated with a number of associated meetings. Other States and organisations concerned with the conservation and management of marine turtles and their habitats were welcome to attend.

In addition to reviewing implementation progress, the Signatory State meeting encompassed separate workshops on coastal development issues and fisheries-turtle interactions. Meeting documents are being posted on the IOSEA website under ‘IOSEA Meetings’ as they become available.

The Meeting of Signatory States was preceded, on 18-19 August 2008, by a meeting of the IOSEA Advisory Committee (including designated sub-regional observers). Also on 19 August 2008, there was an informal meeting of Signatory States to the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs in order to welcome new MoU members and to discuss priorities for project funding.

(Source: Douglas Hykle, IOSEA secretariat)