27 – 29 APRIL, 2010


President, International Sea Turtle Society
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India.
Symposium website:
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The annual sea turtle symposium, organized by the International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS), will be coming to South Asia for the first time. It will be held in Goa, India between the 27th and 29th of April, 2010. Regional and pre-symposium meetings will be held between the 24th and 26th of April, 2010. Details of these meetings and post-symposium activities will be provided on our website.

The event will be jointly hosted and organized by sea turtle conservation groups and research organizations as well as institutions that work on marine environment issues across India and South Asia. Based on previous Annual Symposia of the ISTS, we are expecting up to 700 participants, from as many as half the nations on the planet. The ISTS Annual Symposium is truly unique, drawing an enormous number and diversity of people interested in these intriguing animals.

Dates: Symposium: 27-29 April 2010
Regional and Pre-symposium meetings: 24-26 April 2010
Post-symposium workshops and tours: From April 30, 2010

Venue: Symposium: Kala Academy, Panaji, Goa (
Regional and Pre-symposium meetings: To be decided

Theme: The world of turtles

Sea turtles inhabit the land and the sea. They connect the shallow nearshore waters to the open sea, cold temperate to warm tropical waters. They migrate across ocean basins. And through several thousands of years, they have connected us ecologically and culturally to the sea. The thirtieth annual symposium on sea turtle biology and conservation will seek to explore these connections and focus on the world they live in. The world of coral reefs, seagrass meadows, open seas and sandy beaches. The world of people, living and working on the coast or at sea; of fishing cultures and livelihoods. All connected by sea turtles and by us.

The 30th symposium will also draw attention to the concerns of fishing communities, especially those across the South Asian region, within the conservation paradigm and will address how marine conservation issues can be approached without jeopardizing – but rather by enhancing – the livelihoods of communities that depend on these resources and the same environments that are needed by the turtles. In this context, discussions will also focus on traditional fishing communities, whose practices have often been questioned by the conservation community, but whose contributions to maintaining and ensuring the “health” of the marine ecosystems must be acknowledged and addressed.


Early registration deadline: 31st October 2009
To attend or participate in the symposium, you must register, preferably in advance. The registration process will commence by 1st September 2009. The early registration deadline is 31st October 2009. You can register at Early registration fees are as follows:
High income: USD 195
Regular income: USD 125
Student / Low income: USD 25/INR 1000

Registration remains open until the symposium, but you will incur a higher registration fee past the early registration deadline (31st October 2009). Hence, we encourage you to register well in advance, which will then allow you to submit your abstracts and applications for travel grants. This will also give us adequate time to make preparations for the many programmatic, lodging, social event related, travel, and other activities that need to be dealt with in an event as large and complex as this.

If you are unable to make an online payment for registration, contact your regional travel chair (see below), or one of the local organizers if you are from South Asia (see below); the registration fee for travel grant applicants may be deferred until you arrive in Goa.

If you are attending the symposium for the first time, it is important to point out that by registering for the 2010 symposium you automatically become a member of the International Sea Turtle Society. You can then receive updates about the symposium, and other events from the ISTS, through

Travel grant applications

Travel grant application deadline: 31st October 2009

You may apply for a travel grant to help finance your travel to the symposium. In the least, a travel grant ensures you accommodation for the duration of the symposium. Travel grant applications are submitted to regional travel chairs for consideration. Please note that you can submit a travel grant application only after registration; however, you can submit a travel grant application prior to payment of the registration fee.

Abstract submission

Abstract submission deadline: 31st October 2009

Abstracts should be submitted online at To submit an abstract, you must first register and make a payment. However, under special circumstances, travel grant applicants can have the payment deferred by contacting their travel chair; this will enable you to submit your abstract without paying beforehand, but you must still submit the abstract before the deadline. Your abstracts will be reviewed by the Programme Committee and a notification of whether or not your abstract has been accepted will be sent to you by January, 2010. You may choose your preference of oral, speed and/or poster presentation. Instructions and more details are available on the symposium website.


The symposium will be held at the Kala Academy, Goa. In keeping with the theme of the symposium, the sessions proposed to be held during the main days of the symposium (27 – 29 April 2010) include standard symposium as well as special sessions, including Ecosystem function, Resource dependent livelihoods, Environmental impacts and others. Further details will be announced on our website soon. Several workshops have been planned and will also be announced shortly.

Pre- and post – symposium meetings (24 – 26 and 30th April 2010) include the IUCN/MTSG meeting, Freshwater Turtles meeting, and several regional meetings.


An event of this magnitude and complexity requires the support and participation of many key/active partners and sponsors. Support for the 2010 symposium is solicited from all quarters. If you would like to contribute by way of sponsorship, or help us locate potential sponsors, towards organizing and conducting the symposium, we’d be grateful for any help.


A dedicated team of local and international volunteers is helping organize the many facets of the symposium. We will however, need plenty more help leading up to, and during the days of the symposium. If you would like to volunteer your time and effort towards organizing this event, do write to us (Supraja Dharini – International Volunteers Coordinator at or Seema Shenoy – Symposium Coordinator (India) at

Location: Goa

Goa was chosen as the ideal location to host the symposium for a variety of reasons. It has long been a favoured destination for tourists from around the world and has the necessary facilities and infrastructure to cater to a very large and diverse group of visitors. Being on the coast, Goa offers symposium participants the opportunity to explore its unique shores, its rich tropical forests and mountains, and diverse cultural and historical heritage sites. Information about Goa will be provided on our symposium page.

Travel to India / Goa

Many international flights ply to major Indian cities on a regular basis. Mumbai (Bombay), situated 600 km to the north of Goa, is one of the primary ports of entry. Trains, buses and taxis frequently ply between Mumbai and Panaji, the capital of Goa and the location of the symposium. From all other major cities in India, low cost airlines, trains and buses provide easy and reasonably priced transportation to Goa. Goa also has an international airport located 30km from Panaji. You can contact the event manager (Host India Events) or official travel agency (Integrated Conference or Event Management – ICE India) for help with your bookings. Contact details and other information are available on the symposium website.

We strongly recommend applying for visas to India well in advance. Specific information related to visa applications and travel options will be available on our website. Useful visa and travel related information is also available at and You can write to ICE India (see below) for any further information or assistance you may need.

We encourage you to arrive early, or stay on after the symposium. Traveling within India is easy on the pocket, and there is a lot to explore. Low budget airlines and an extensive road and rail network connect all corners of the country. Tour packages are also on offer from ICE India. Visit our website to know more.


A wide range of accommodation options is available in Goa. You can book rooms through the symposium website or can make bookings on your own. Booking rooms through our website will give you the added benefits of reduced rates, special offers and the option of choosing a hotel that is best suited to your budget and other preferences.

More information

For more details, visit or Be sure to visit these sites regularly for the latest updates. By registering for the symposium, you could also choose to have the latest updates reach you by email. For any additional information, queries, inputs and suggestions, do contact us:

Symposium Coordinator
Seema Shenoy

Symposium Event Manager
Vijitha D’Silva, Host India Events

Travel, Accommodation and Visa
G.N. Raju, Integrated Conference and Event Management (

Programme Advisors
Jack Frazier and BC Choudhury and

Programme Committee

Programme Coordinator
Dubose Griffin (

Programme Coordinator (India) and Regional Partners Coordinator
Naveen Namboothri:

International Volunteers Coordinator
Supraja Dharini:

Travel Committee Chair
Hoyt Peckham

Regional Travel Chairs

Africa: Angela Formia –
Asia/Pacific and Middle East: Nicolas J. Pilcher –
South Asia: Kartik Shanker –
Caribbean (English-speaking): Karen Eckert –
Europe: Aliki Panagopoulou –
Latin America and Spanish-speaking Caribbean: Alejandro Fallabrino –
USA and Canada: Bryan Wallace –

Regional partners

We cordially invite other regional organizations to collaborate. Our current partners include:

Centre for Advanced Research in Natural Resources & Management (CARINAM), Bangladesh
Contact: S.M.A Rashid:

Marine Life Alliance, Bangladesh
Contact: Zahirul Islam:

Marine Research Centre, Maldives
Contact: Shiham Adam (Executive Director):
Marie Saleem (Reef Ecologist):

WWF – Pakistan
Contact: Ahmad Khan:

Turtle Conservation Project, Sri Lanka
Contact: Thushan Kapurusinghe:
Lalith Ekanayake:

South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), South Asia
Contact: Jacintha Tissera (Director General):
Dr. Venkatesan (Regional Coordinator):

India partners

Several more partners are expected to come on board in the next few weeks, including from the government. Two major networks, the Turtle Action Group, a newly formed national network of small non-government organizations working on sea turtles on the coast of India, and the Orissa Marine Resources Conservation Consortium, an alliance of fisher groups and conservationists in Orissa, are also partnering in the symposium.

  • Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India (MoEF)
  • Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai
  • Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • Dakshin Foundation (DF), Bangalore
  • Greenpeace India
  • Gujarat Institute for Desert Ecology (GUIDE), Bhuj
  • Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Mamallapuram
  • National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore
  • Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore
  • Orissa Marine Resources Conservation Consortium (OMRCC), Orissa
  • Turtle Action Group (TAG), India (A national network of community based and local conservation groups)
  • Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), New Delhi
  • Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD), Coimbatore
  • WWF – India, New Delhi
  • Zoo Outreach Organization (ZOO), Coimbatore