Editor, Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter


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We begin IOTN30 with the annual Turtle Diary of SSTCN (Students’ Sea Turtle ConservationNetwork), who recently completed 30 years of sea turtle conservation activities on the Chennai coast of Tamil Nadu, India. SSTCN’s history and accomplishments were described by Kartik Shanker in his 2015 book “From Soup to Superstar: The Story of Sea Turtle Conservation Along the Indian Coast” and can also be traced on the organisation’s website (https://sstcn.org/).

Unfortunately, SSTCN’s celebrations in the 2018 season were marred by high numbers of dead, stranded turtles. Coincidentally, IOTN received additional descriptions of stranded turtles from Kerala, India, and Mozambique, and strandings emerged as a common theme in the current issue.

It can be difficult to discern the potential cause of turtle strandings, so one paper has been written to help researchers and conservationists in this area. As interactions with fishing gear are a recognised threat to sea turtles and entanglement is known to result in strandings, IOTN30 also includes a summary of recent research on mitigation strategies to reduce bycatch in small-scale fisheries.