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Mon 01 May 2006

02 May 2006: 10am - Pilcher on "IOSEA Year of the Turtle: The Sea Turtle Crises and Singapore"

Category : marine

The Year of the Turtle Committee, Singapore, presents:

"IOSEA Year of the Turtle: The Sea Turtle Crises and Singapore"

Dr Nicolas J. Pilcher
Marine Research Foundation, Sabah, Malaysia
Co-Chair, IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group

Tuesday, 2nd May 2006: 10am - 11am

Conference Room, Department of Biological Sciences
Block S3, Level 5, Science drive 4
National University of Singapore
See map
You can park at Car Park 10
(cash card required)

Host: C. H. Diong,
Chairman, Year of the Turtle Committee

National Institute of Education,
Nanyang Technological University

All are welcome!

About the talk
Marine turtles are long-lived, slow growing reptiles with low population replenishment rates. They are found throughout the tropical waters of the world, and many populations are in decline following intensive direct harvests of adults and eggs, incidental captures in varied coastal and pelagic fisheries, habitat loss or alteration, and oceanic pollution. In Southeast Asia their numbers have declined precipitously due to increased pressures from human population expansion, and unregulated and overexploited harvests of eggs and adults. As an example of the far reaching consequences of turtle harvests, turtles landed in Bali originate from throughout the Southeast Asian region and as far away as Australia, having decimated populations nearby. It seems things just couldn't get worse... or could they?

Populations subject to long-term conservation measures are starting to rebound. Governments are becoming more aware of management intervention needs. Scientists and conservationists have taken great strides in the past three decades to better understand turtles, to better conserve them. Our ability today, as the highest order of our planetŐs meta-ecosystem, to take mitigating steps in the decline of turtles has never before been so strong. What can each of us do? How can we have a positive impact in a similar far-reaching manner as the turtle harvests and make repairs for times past? This talk will explore some of the options and opportunities to interact with conservation initiatives which will benefit turtles in our seas, wherever they may be from.

About the Speaker
Nicholas Pilcher is the founder and Executive Director of the Marine Research Foundation, a non-profit agency established in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, to carry out studies which lead to the conservation of marine resources throughout the South East Asian and Indian Ocean regions. He currently is working on projects in Eritrea, Qatar, Oman, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia, to name a few.

Nicholas has a PhD in marine turtle conservation from Southern Cross University in Australia, and has been in Malaysia for the better part of the last thirteen years. He spent seven of those based in Kuching, Sarawak, where among other things he published a book on Layang Layang and edited another on marine turtles of the Indio-Pacific. Dr. PilcherŐs work on turtles has spanned much of the globe, and today he is the Co-Chair of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, the worldŐs authority on sea turtle conservation and biology. He is married to a Sabahan, Carmen, and together they juggle the complex web of projects a the Foundation and the raising of their three children.

About the Year of the Turtle

"The Indian Ocean - South-East Asia (IOSEA) 'Year of the Turtle - 2006' aims to unite nations and communities to celebrate marine turtles and to support their conservation. While increasing public awareness and understanding of the threats faced by marine turtles, the campaign will also highlight the work of dedicated organisations that are striving to conserve these ancient creatures and the habitats on which they depend. With a theme of Cooperating to Conserve Marine Turtles - our Ocean's Ambassadors, it is hoped the campaign will be a milestone in the conservation of marine turtles and their habitats of this vast region. The YoT campaign will begin officially on 1 March 2006, and will run through to the end of 2006.

In Singapore, a Year of the Turtle working group has just been formed. Comprising members from National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, National Parks Board, Underwater World Singapore and Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, it hopes to initiate a series of local events to promote awareness about sea turtles, marine conservation and local efforts.

Join us!
The Year of the Turtle Committee invites partners to join the group and extends a warm invitation to existing individuals and groups involved in marine research, education and conservation who could modify existing programmes to support the theme. So do come down for the seminar and join us! We will be discussing ideas with Nicholas after the seminar.

Posted at 8:32AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news