BERN CONVENTION CALLS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS RECOMMENDATIONS AND ADOPTS DECISIONS FOR SEA TURTLE HABITATS IN GREECE & TURKEY For the 29th year in succession, MEDASSET participated in the 37th Standing Committee Meeting of the Bern Convention at the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, France, 4-8 December 2017). We presented the results of our sea turtle […]
Last week saw the President of the United States of America Donald Trump withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Out of 200 countries, only three have rejected the Paris Agreement- Nicaragua, because it didn’t go far enough, Syria, which is in civil war and now the United States of America. Even North Korea has signed up, which shows just how out-of-step President Trump is with the rest of the world.
In November 2016, a paper appeared in the scientific journal Science Advances, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The authors, all graduates of the University of California, have been looking at how three of the most common types of plastic acquire a coating of a chemical – Dimethyl sulphide or DMS – that produces an odour many organisms associate with their natural food.
Being General Secretary of an international organisation has its upside! At the end of April, I was invited to represent MEDASSET at the 37th International Sea Turtle Symposium in Las Vegas. Holding a symposium on marine reptiles in the middle of a desert, far from any ocean, may seem a rather eccentric decision but, as it turns out, turtle people will discuss sea turtles and all that concerns their survival more or less anywhere!
What difference does it make if Greece has been found guilty of operating an illegal landfill site in Zakynthos by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)? Not a lot, it seems. So what if the landfill site in question sits at the edge of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, almost on top of a beach that is the most vital to the survival of the loggerhead turtle in the whole of the Mediterranean?
To deliver the objectives of the MEDSEALITTER programme, MEDASSET will be working with the Greek Centre for Marine Research and eight further partner organisations: the University of Barcelona and the University of Valencia (Spain); the EcoOcean Institute and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (France); and finally from Italy the Cinque Terre National Park and Marine Protected Area (acting as Lead Partner), the Comune di Villasimius - Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area, and the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Legambiente Onlus.
In collaboration with Kaleidoscope Publications MEDASSET has presented 1,500 copies of its educational kit “Mediterranean Sea, A Source of Life” to the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs so that the groundbreaking educational materials contained in each packet can be included in lesson plans used in the introductory classes being offered to the children of refugees.
Researchers at NASA wanted to find out whether they could use the scientific data-collection buoys that have been released into the world’s oceans over a 35-year period to create images of the “Great Garbage Patches” that form as a result of oceanic currents.
The first of the year’s missions to collect disused and discarded fishing nets took place. MEDASSET organised the action that is part of the European initiative: “Healthy Seas: A journey from waste to wear”.
We love what we do! Everyday we work to protect the marine environment and promote positive change in people. When someone like 15 year old Kerstine asks for our help because she and her team want to stop sea turtles from ingesting plastic bags, we jump at it. It is opportunities like these that make us love our jobs even more!
It only took half a century for mankind to threaten the very existence of sea turtles. Having appeared with the dinosaurs 110 million years ago, they survived five major extinction events before they witnessed and became victims of the abuses we humans inflict on the ocean. Yet the apparently inevitable extinction of marine turtles could so easily be avoided: some signs last summer allow us to believe in a more hopeful future – provided we act quickly.
Sea turtles are one of the most iconic and cherished species in our oceans. More important, for millions of years they have played an integral part in maintaining the stability and resilience of marine ecosystems.
All 25 of the students from the Kellogg School of Management in the US have declared themselves helplessly addicted to summertime in Greece following their trips to Mykonos, Santorini and Schinias this August.
Our campaigns to improve the protection of loggerhead* nesting beaches in Patara (launched in 1988) and to halt severe degradation in Fethiye (launched in 2009), both listed as protected areas under the Barcelona Convention, continued in 2016.
The beaches of Kyparissia Bay are emerging as the most significant nesting area for loggerhead turtles in Greece for the fourth year in succession. By the end of May, the number of Caretta caretta nests had exceeded 2,500 (according ARCHELON) breaking every previous record. However, the good news has been somewhat overshadowed by reports of […]
We are delighted to announce the launch of the “Sea Turtle Rescue Map”, a new tool that provides open-access to information on facilities that are rescuing and caring for sea turtles in the Mediterranean. The project “Database & Online Map of Sea Turtle Rescue & First Aid Centres in the Mediterranean” stemmed from a paper […]
It is hard, almost impossible, to imagine nature conservation in the world without Luc Hoffmann. He was the friend who inspired and encouraged my conservation work ever since we met in 1986 in Greece. Looking at his face, listening to his voice, feeling his smile, was enough to inspire and encourage you to go on […]
After a month’s stay at Golden Hall shopping centre in Marousi, our exhibition of clothing made with yarn reclaimed from the sea has reached the second stage of its journey. We are particularly delighted that one of Europe’s largest and most contemporary aquaria, CRETAquarium near Heraklion, Crete, is to open its doors to the “Healthy Seas Fashion Project” and present the show until the end of September.
MEDASSET and the Hellenic Anti-Cancer Society announced their new collaboration in a joint press conference at the Grande Bretagne Hotel, Athens, on the 28th of June. They will work together in the context of MEDASSET’s “Clean Seas: Swear to Care” campaign lead by the slogan: “Smoking seriously harms the beach”.
Amparo Albacete Cremades is an enthusiastic teacher of English at a Spanish primary school, CEIP Magraner School in the town of Tavernes de la Valldigna in Valencia. Her 27 pupils there, aged between 7 and 8, are the “Untameables”. Amparo and her class are on a mission to learn more about the things that make them happy. Their list is a long one, and among other things, it includes “the sea” and “sea turtles”!
We have just published a new Report that presents the full findings of our 2014-2015 survey on the illegal trade in sea turtles in the fish markets of Alexandria in Egypt.
Between September 2014 and March 2015, with the help of young volunteer Sherif Abdullah, and under the supervision of Mohamed Nada, we organised a new survey to reveal the current status of the trade in Alexandria’s fish markets and to gain insights into the local community’s perceptions.
The educational outreach work MEDASSET does usually happens in Greece. So when the office in Athens got a call from a primary school in the UK, asking if someone could come and talk to their class of 6-year-olds about our work, we thought we would have to decline.
Between now and the 6th July the Golden Hall shopping centre is offering a unique opportunity to visit an exhibition that shows what can happen when environmentally aware fashion encounters the circular economy. The exhibition was created with the support of the Representation of the EU in Greece, and celebrates the first anniversary of MEDASSET’s role as coordinator in Greece of the successful European initiative: “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear”.
This year sea turtles began nesting on Mediterranean beaches quite early, with the first nest reported in Turkey (Dalaman, 26 April 2016) followed by Israel and Greece (Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Kyparissia).* In April, before the nesting season got under way, as part of our campaign to promote better protection of sea turtle nesting beaches in […]
Our first dive of the year, which took place over 3 days, was carried out in early April off the island of Makronisos. The team was made up of specialist divers from the Netherlands supported by experienced Greek volunteers. Working together with passion and enthusiasm they succeeded in clearing all the nets snagged on the wreck of the “Portugal”, which lies on the seabed off the island’s west coast at a depth of 32 metres.
A worn out fishing net that has reached the end of its useful life and has been abandoned at sea by its owner can carry on ‘fishing’ endlessly as it drifts with the currents. Nets such as these are responsible for the needless deaths of hundreds of marine creatures – sea turtles among them – and that is why they are known as “ghost nets”.
“Through the story of sea turtles, Kartik Shanker provides a rich history of India’s marine ecosystems, the international conservation movement and cutting-edge ecological research. The pen portraits are vivid, the analysis deep, the prose luminous. If more scientists could write as well as Shanker, and more environmentalists think as carefully as him, the world would […]
On June 30th, 2015, the Marine Turtle Research Group of Exeter University in conjunction with several other partners and sponsors, launched a new green sea turtle satellite tracking project in the northern part of Cyprus. MEDASSET supported the project via online promotion of turtle adoptions and by sharing project news. Why so special? Since 1998, […]
This year and always, through taking action in ten simple ways, through showing respect and taking personal responsibility, we can keep our beaches clean and our seas brimming with life. Let’s take a look at what was achieved last Summer as a result of our “Clean Seas: Swear to Care” campaign…
Following the Council of Europe’s “Recommendation No. 174 for the case file Greece: Threats to marine turtles in Thines Kyparissias”, which urged Greece to prevent habitat deterioration and ensure improved protection of Southern Kyparissia Bay, MEDASSET, in cooperation with other Environmental NGOs, lobbied the Greek state for the implementation of the Recommendation.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference, also known as COP21 held in December was hailed the “world’s greatest diplomatic success”. Negotiators, ministers and heads of state gathered in Paris and worked through the night to finalise the framework through which the world will seek to reduce carbon pollution and tackle climate change after 2020. The world’s […]
Eleven tonnes of waste fish farm nets, 8 tonnes of waste fishermen nets and 2 tonnes of derelict ghost nets fished from the seabed in Tolo and Kalymnos will be recycled to produce high quality yarn which will then be used for create beautiful garments. This is our contribution to the “Healthy Seas” initiative, a […]
For the 27th year in succession, MEDASSET participated in the annual meeting of the Bern Convention at the Council of Europe (35th Standing Committee Meeting, Strasbourg, France, 1-4 December 2015). We presented our sea turtle nesting beach assessments, raised our concerns and submitted recommendations. As a result, the Bern Convention adopted important decisions to monitor several sea turtle habitats and urge countries to step up protection.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference, also known as COP21 is here. Negotiators, ministers and heads of state will gather in Paris to finalise the framework through which the world will seek to reduce carbon pollution and tackle climate change after 2020.
A few weeks ago we told you the story of five female green turtles released from Alagadi (Alakati) beach in Cyprus to be tracked via satellite by researchers* aiming to identify foraging areas in the Mediterranean so far unknown. “To know is to do” so if we know where the rare green turtles feed we can then help protect these areas.
Our project “Wiki Loves Sea Turtle Monuments" has reached a significant milestone, as it now includes photos from six of the seven continents! In addition, an interactive monuments map has been created.
On June 30th, 2015, the Marine Turtle Research Group in conjunction with Exeter University, MEDASSET, other partners and sponsors, released five green sea turtles from Alagadi beach in north Cyprus in order to track them via satellite. Before: why satellite track at all? Since 1998, the Marine Turtle Conservation Project (MTCP) has tracked a total […]
When your message in a bottle washes up on a beach after days upon the rolling seas, you want it to land on the sparkling and pristine sands of Grecian paradise. You don’t want it to arrive amidst the detritus of crumpled soda cans, soiled plastic bags, gnarled plastic rings, and other refuse and ocean rejects that populate so many beaches.
MEDASSET and Healthy Seas have joined forces in the battle against marine litter. To this aim we have established partnerships with three fishermen associations in Attica who have began collecting their useless nets so they can be processed and reconstituted to make ECONYL ® yarn, a high-quality raw material that can be used to create new products, such as socks, swimwear or carpets.
Between 18-24/04/2015 MEDASSET participated in the tri-annual 5th Mediterranean Conference and the 35th International Symposium on Sea Turtles (ISTS), in Dalaman, Turkey. The 35th ISTS marked a very important milestone in our history since our President received the ISTS Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the conservation of sea turtles through the work of MEDASSET.
Each year, about 1,000 people that care about sea turtles gather somewhere in the world to exchange views, share latest techniques and research findings, form alliances, and renew old friendships. MEDASSET can’t always be represented, as travel expenses can be prohibitive, but in 2015 the ISTS, the International Sea Turtle Society’s annual Symposium, came to Dalaman, Turkey, and that meant MEDASSET was able to send a team and get involved on many levels.
In the Mediterranean, sea turtles suffered a major decline caused by intensive exploitation in the past (until the 1970s) either for consumption or for trade. In some parts of the Mediterranean, turtles are still, illegally, taken ashore destined for the cooking pot or a tourist attraction.
Monitoring the conservation situation in Zakynthos for yet another year, we found that the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (ZNMP) remains at the stage of struggling to address the same challenges and problems as in previous years. Inadequate control and supervision of the Park’s marine area results in private and business boats becoming a constant […]
MEDASSET volunteers are a cheerful group of highly motivated individuals of all ages who share our vision and who wish to make a difference for sea turtles in the Mediterranean. In July 2014 we participated with our volunteers in the UpFestival; a famous summer open air music event in Koufonisi island, that brings together bands […]
The Libyan Seaturtle Program LibSTP (an initiative coordinated through the Environment General Authority (EGA) of Libya since 2005), recently established an activity aiming to educate school children and teachers about the endangered species of the Mediterranean Sea.
Around 34 years ago, a handful of young scientists whose love of marine turtles was equalled only by their specialist knowledge of them, organised the first American workshop in Waverly, Georgia, dedicated to “the protection and study of sea turtles”: About 70 people took part. The initiative proved such a success that it became established, […]
2014 marked the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 50th anniversary! The Red list is an invaluable conservation resource, a health check for our planet – a Barometer of Life. All 7 species of sea turtles have been assessed and added to the Red List.
Monitoring the conservation status of important sea turtle nesting beaches in the Mediterranean is one of MEDASSET’s key activities since 1988. We present our findings and recommendations to national and international authorities, such as the Bern Convention, to bring international attention to local conservation problems and encourage governments to take action.
Written by Marlene Jahnke, PhD student working on seagrass population genetics at the Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”, Napoli, Italy. Seagrass meadows are one of the most important and valuable marine biomes, comparable to coral reefs and mangroves when considering biodiversity, economics and ecosystem services. Their role is so important because seagrasses are habitat-providing species as […]
Seventy-two people played the new tug of war game we are calling “Human vs. Turtle“ at the Plissken music festival held in Athens in June 2014. The digital experience was designed by the Mixed Reality Lab of the University of Nottingham with some help from MEDASSET.
In the Mediterranean, especially over the past six years, countries hit by the economic crisis look at coastal tourism and real estate development to help them recover economically. Together with Spain, Turkey and Cyprus, Greece is reshaping policies to attract investments and increase commercial activity.
The value of Australia’s newly established network of marine parks has been highlighted by an international project that used satellite transmitters to track the vulnerable flatback sea turtle, which only inhabits the waters of Australia and New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. The project may also serve as a template for marine conservation elsewhere in the world.
Monitoring the status of important sea turtle nesting beaches in the Mediterranean, against unsustainable development to bring about improved management is an important goal for MEDASSET. CYPRUS Akamas & Limni: These important green and loggerhead turtle nesting beaches are only protected on paper, as conservation measures are still not in force despite the fact that […]
Europe ringed in the New Year with a brand new fisheries policy. After four decades, the European Union’s (EU) common fisheries policy has been reformed to place the marine environment and sustainable livelihoods in the forefront. This is especially important for the Mediterranean Sea, where 88% of studied fish stocks are overfished, and destructive fishing […]
For 25 years, MEDASSET has been working closely with educators and students to convey the message that cooperation and active participation are needed if we are to achieve our aim of conserving sea turtles and their habitats throughout the Mediterranean for the future. In 2013 we engaged over 6,400 pupils from 116 schools in this […]
We are pleased to announce the release of a new paper: Population Structure for Sea Turtles at Drini Bay: An Important Nearshore Foraging and Developmental Habitat in Albania, by M. White, L. Boura and L. Venizelos.
The month of October was dedicated to the removal of debris found on beaches in Greece. This year 2,541 fantastic volunteers, most of whom students and educators, took part in the “Join in and Clean Up” campaign, helping us record and remove 3.5 tons of debris from 17.6 klm of beach. Thanks to their enthusiasm […]
In May 2012, MEDASSET joined forces with OCEAN2012, a coalition of over 170 European NGOs, whose mission is to ensure that the reform of the European Union Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) stops overfishing, ends destructive fishing practices, and delivers fair and equitable use of fish stocks for local communities that depend on them for their […]
1 December 2012: For the 24th consecutive year, MEDASSET attended the Standing Committee Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the “Bern Convention”) at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France on 27 – 30 November 2012. We presented a slideshow that illustrated the current […]