Populations of marine turtles in the Mediterranean have been decreasing steadily through the last decades. Incidental catches by fishing gears, sea pollution and the use of the nesting beaches are the main causes of marine turtles decline.
The Mediterranean countries within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan, adopted in 1989 the Action Plan for the Conservation of Mediterranean Marine Turtle. The Parties to the Barcelona Convention included among their priority targets for the period 1985-1995 the protection of Mediterranean marine turtles (Genoa Declaration, September 1985).
To this purpose and as a response to growing international concern about the status of marine turtles in the Mediterranean, which encounter various threats, including mortality in fishing gear and loss of vital habitats on land (nesting beaches), they adopted in 1989 the Action Plan for the Conservation of Mediterranean Marine Turtles.
In 1996, the Parties confirmed their commitment to the conservation of marine turtles by including the 5 species of marine turtle recorded for the Mediterranean in the List of Endangered and Threatened Species annexed to the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (Barcelona, 1995).
The Protocol calls on the Parties to continue to cooperate in implementing those action plans already adopted. The Action Plan for the Conservation of Marine Turtles was revised in 1998-1999 and therevised Action Plan was adopted at the 11th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in Malta in October 1999.
Following the request of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (Portoroz, 2005), RAC/SPA is preparing an update of the Action Plan for the Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean to be submitted to the 8th Meeting of RAC/SPA National Focal Points.
With the aim of updating the Action Plan the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas RAC/SPA (UNEP/MAP) in collaboration and with the support of the Libyan Environmental General Authority (EGA), convened an ad hoc meeting of independent experts at Misuratah, Libya, 15-16 November 2006.
The experts reviewed the old Action Plan in view of the experience and information gained since it was first implemented in 1999.
Evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan for the conservation of Mediterranean marine turtles
- Progress in increasing knowledge on turtles in the Mediterranean
- The regional Activities for the implementation of the Action Plan.
- Evaluation of the implementation by the countries.
- Report on the evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan.
- Poster about Testudines of the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
- The Action Plan (in pdf format).
Protection & Managment
- Guidelines to design legislation and regulations relative to the conservation and management of marine turtles populations and their habitats.
Information, Education & training
- Sea Turtle handling Guidebook for fishermen (Arabic, Greek, Spanish, Croatian, Turkish, Slovenian, Italian, Maltese).
- Sea Turtle handling Guidebook for fishermen - Teaching book (Spanish).
- Turtle Conservation Training Course.
- Training Course On Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation.
Scientifc research & Monitoring
Mediterranean Conference on Marine turtles
- Proceedings of the First Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles.
- Proceedings of the Second Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles.
- Proceedings of the Third Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles.
- Book of abstracts of the Fourth Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles.
- CDROM elaborated and diffused during the 26th International Symposium on marine turtles (Crete, Greece 2006) (image for burn).