The project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” aims to enhance the protection of marine turtles within the Mediterranean region by reducing human induced direct mortality.
Habitat loss and degradation of nesting beaches due to marine and coastal development and tourism, collision with vessels, marine pollution and illegal trade are only a few of the threats to marine turtle populations, cause by human activities.
In the framework of the project, numerous activities will be carried out across the Mediterranean. Applied research and monitoring on known and potential nesting sites and marine hotspots (Albania, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey); reinforcement of coordination through the use of standardised protocols, maps and databases; capacity building among turtle researchers and marine protected area managers; improvement of the management and protection of nesting sites (Greece, Turkey); elaboration or update of National Action Plans (Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt); reduction of illegal trade of sea turtles (Egypt, Tunisia).
MEDASSET’s contribution to the project includes creating the project’s Communication Strategy and materials and the development of a Mediterranean stranding protocol and database which aims to fulfil the recommendation under the “RAC/SPA Updated Action Plan” for the Conservation of Mediterranean Marine Turtles and a Recommendation of the Demography Working Group of the “5th Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles” (Bern Convention T-PVS/Inf 2015 15).
In Greece, MEDASSET aims to increase knowledge on migration routes and foraging sites in the North Aegean through a rapid questionnaire survey. In Albania, we implemented a monitoring program to explore potential nesting activity along its coastline and evaluate the quality of certain beaches to appraise their potential of being used as nesting sites in the future, in the case of spatial nesting shifts due to climate change.