Co-editor, Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter


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This special issue of IOTN on sea turtle-fisher interactions in the Indian Ocean region encompasses studies and reports from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Showcasing the variety of work addressing this issue in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian region, articles present the outcomes of interviews, awareness campaigns and TED trials with fishers, a study of turtle entanglements in ghost gear, and the rescue and rehabilitation of turtles caught in fishing gear. We are reminded that while stranding information is most often used as indication of mortality due to interactions with fishers, it may also also provide information on species distribution, as the discovery of a stranded green turtle in Karwar (on page 29 of this issue) suggests a previously unknown feeding area or migratory corridor for the species.

Reports from the recent Symposium on Sea Turtle Conservation in Asia in Pakistan, and the 35th Annual International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in Turkey, are complemented by the announcement for the 36th Annual International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation to be held in Peru. We hope to see you at the meeting for the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia region and ghost gear workshops, both of which will precede the symposium itself.

IOTN readers are also encouraged to suggest study sites to investigate artisanal bycatch in the Indian Ocean (see the request from Kimberley Riskas, at James Cook University in Australia, on page 47 of this issue). None of us can improve the outcome of turtle-fisher interactions on our own, and we hope Issue 22 of IOTN demonstrates the potential for collaboration among countries and organisations in our region. Further reports and studies on turtle-fisher interactions and bycatch reduction methods are welcome for future submission to IOTN.