1 Co-editor, Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter

2Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh


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IOTN Issue 17 (January 2013) includes reports on sea turtle biology and conservation from all reaches of the Indian Ocean, with a breadth of topics that include community initiatives and conservation programmes, sea turtle interactions with fisheries, strandings, hatcheries, nesting reports, project profiles, and photographic identification of individual turtles. The IOTN Research Summaries return in 2013, as Jeff Seminoff updates us on new technology, including solar tags and miniature satellite transmitters, stable isotope tracking and skeleto- chronology, used to determine turtle movement at sea.

Our opening report examines the activities of sea turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka, and their potential contribution to sea turtle conservation. In situ incubation of sea turtle nests is the most desirable scenario for most nesting beaches, but eggs in the Indian Ocean and South East Asia are often collected for incubation in a hatchery to reduce natural and human threats to nests, including poaching, predation, and beach erosion. While a number of hatcheries in the region are maintained by governmental and non-governmental agencies for protection and/or education and outreach, some also provide income to local communities through ecotourism. However, the industry is often unregulated and hatchery management practices (including those by government and NGOs) fail to consider the environmental and natural biology of hatchlings.

IOTN would be interested in publishing similar studies from other countries in this region and recommends a wider conversation with regional hatchery managers, NGOs and enforcement agencies to ensure responsible collection and incubation of eggs, immediate release of the majority of hatchlings, and accurate record keeping and reporting.