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Welcome to the IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Website!

The IOSEA Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding is an intergovernmental agreement concluded under the auspices of the UNEP / ‎Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). It aims to protect, conserve, replenish and recover marine turtles and their habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asian region, working in partnership with other relevant actors and organisations.


  IOSEA funding opportunities via the GEF Small Grants Programme  ... READ ON 
Recent additions:

■ NIO-Task Force pages

■ Illegal Trade section

■ Site Network Directory

■ Fisheries - Turtle Interactions section


» July 2016 issue of Marine Turtle Newsletter now available
» Sea Turtle Conservation and Shrimp Imports to the United States
» Westpac acts on CNMI request to help with sea turtle / shark issues
» GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project launches new website
» African Sea Turtle Newsletter #5 now available
» Technical Paper: Proposed Transboundary Marine Conservation between Kenya and Tanzania
Turtle tracking on Masirah Island in Oman 18 Sep 2016

Photo c/o The Times of OmanSeven adult female loggerhead turtles have been satellite tagged on Masirah Island in an effort to better understand their movements and lifespan. Launched as part of an initiative to study the nesting and foraging habitats of the critically endangered North West Indian Ocean loggerhead sub-population, the satellite tags will provide important data on the turtles’ movement and behaviour and their inter-nesting and post nesting habitats.

The project is a collaborative effort between Oman's Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), two United States' government agencies, and various non-governmental organisations based in Oman. More »

Free online training for the public could save a turtle 16 Sep 2016

Photo c/o The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Sydney Morning Herald reports that a marine turtle strandings response volunteer package, developed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, has been created to give people the chance to help marine turtles stranded on the Great Barrier Reef coastline.

Volunteers who spot a sick or injured marine turtle stranded on the beach should transport the animal to the nearest rehabilitation centre. Environment Minister Steven Miles said the online training package, which consists of eight modules, would help individual turtles as well as improve data collection. More »

Marine turtle conservation challenges in southwest Madagascar 12 Sep 2016

Photo c/o ReefDoctor (Madagascar)Emma Gibbons, Director of the NGO ReefDoctor, based in southwest Madagascar, offers some astute observations about the challenges of conserving marine turtle in that corner of the Indian Ocean:

In the small fishing community of Ifaty, just one of thirteen villages in the Bay of Ranobe, Southwest Madagascar, over 300 marine turtles have been slaughtered in the first seven months of 2016. This represents an increase of 29% over the same period in the same village in the previous year, and is more than double the number of turtles caught in the whole of 2010.

The cause behind this dramatic increase in the harvest of turtles may be attributed to a number of factors. The rural southwest of the country, where most of the population already live in extreme poverty, is getting poorer. Overexploited fisheries, once the lifeblood of these communities, can no longer provide for an adequate income, and fishermen are increasingly hunting those species with a high market value. Large green turtles regularly sell for $50-60 USD – more than the monthly income of an average fisherman and are therefore an alluring catch. At the same time, smaller, juvenile turtles, which sell for as little as $3 USD, are also caught. For desperate fishermen living day-to-day, no catch is ever thrown back, no matter how small, and the harvest of juveniles continues to be a drain on turtle populations. More »

Queensland: Green sea turtles thrive in Raine Island recovery project 10 Sep 2016

Photo c/o ABC News (Queensland Environment Department)ABC News reports on a project to raise the height of Raine Island, off far north Queensland, in a bid to help save the world's most important nesting site for thousands of green sea turtles.

Raine Island, about 620 kilometres north-east of Cairns and inaccessible to the public, is the nesting ground for about 60,000 green turtles every year. Researchers have been reshaping parts of the beach to protect the breeding grounds and used pool fencing to help turtles falling off sand cliffs. The so-called Raine Island Recovery Project is also making use of drone technology to facilitate survey work. More »

Changes in marine turtle conservation legislation in Maldives 1 Sep 2016

Photo c/o Marine Research CentreMaldives IOSEA Focal Point, Ms. Khadeeja Ali, reports that over the past few months some changes have taken place in marine turtle legislation of the Maldives.

"We have now moved from periodic moratoriums to a complete ban on turtle harvesting for an indefinite period of time, in other words, turtles are declared as a protected species under the Environment Law of the Maldives. Since all endangered species now come under the Environment Law, having marine turtles under this law would provide more effective protection and stringent penalties.

The mandate for protecting turtles has been moved to Environment Ministry. With the new legislation, a nation-wide ban on turtle egg harvesting has also been declared for an indefinite period of time. Previously under the Fisheries Law, egg harvesting was prohibited from 14 important nesting islands for 10 years. We believe this is a major accomplishment in marine turtle conservation in the Maldives."  More »

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UNEP © IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Secretariat, c/o UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: + (662) 288 1471 ; Fax: + (662) 288 3041 / 288 1029; E-mail: IOSEA Secretariat
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