Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Sixth WIOMSA Scientific Symposium was a roaring success!

Local sponsorship from Four Seasons Resort, Thrifty Car Hire, Helicopter Seychelles, Dive Resort Seychelles, Underwater Centre Seychelles and Cousine Island made it possible for Elke to attend the Sixth WIOMSA Scientific Symposium. The symposium brought together experts from 26 countries who specialise in marine research and conservation. A total of 160 power point presentations were on offer and over 200 poster were on display for the 450 delegates to peruse.

The organising committee did a fantastic job, with a wide range of subject being explored through the presentations and posters. There was also a wide variety of free books and DVD’s and the abundance of food made Elke wish she had packed trousers with an elastic waistband!

Food, food and more food, photo Elke Talma
Special session were planned for the afternoon of the 27th and included a session on Turtles. Originally, this was advertised as a training session on “Standardised beach monitoring protocols for sea turtles using international best practice”, however due to the high attendance (over 30 participants) and wide variation in backgrounds (ranging from participants with over 40 years field experience to those who just love turtles and were keen to learn more), the organisers changed the programme into a roundtable discussion.

Through these discussion, participants were introduced to the various Turtle programmes in the region ranging from
monitoring turtle fisheries in Madagascar, counting turtle nests in South Africa to tracking turtles with satellite tags in Seychelles.

Through these sessions, it became clear that while we all have a passion for turtles, the effort put into our respective monitoring programmes, while commendable, would do little to protect these animals if we did not work together to create a standard monitoring protocol for basic data collection to allow for regional comparisons to be made.

A quick test on basic carapace length measurement reveals large variation in methods used within the region, photo Elke Talma.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Elke, it is nice to read that this symposium was such a success and that so many different countries did attend and I am glad that you where one of them. I hope that when the standard monitoring protocol for basic data collection is created for these turtles that it will be published on this Turtle blog.

Keep up the great work to all of you at MCSS.


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