Welcome to the Frontpage
Welcome to the official site of the 4th Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles. Here you will find information regarding the registration, abstract submission, travel grants, lodging and arrival as well as many other useful tips and links.
Two different venues were chosen for the conference. The first day will be held at the “Bagnoli HUB” auditorium which is located at the entrance of a huge ex-industrial area that is currently being re-urbanised into a big park with recreational and sport facilities, museums, touristic attractions and dwelling places. Included within this area is also the “Turtle Point” Rehabilitation Centre of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, opened in September 2004, which will soon be transferred to the new Marine Turtle Theme Park built within the old cooling towers of the former steel industry. We will be happy to invite you on a tour through this new Turtle centre at the time of the conference. More details on the program and organisation of the first day of the conference will be provided soon on the Program submenu.
During the second to fourth day of the conference you will stay in the vicinity of the conference hotel and be guests at the Casa Carpisa, the Nola headquaters of Carpisa Kuvera s.p.a., which kindly provides their facilities including a large conference room, a poster hall and a reception area. Carpisa, a franchising producing leather and fashion accessories, has a small turtle as its logo and has been supporting the marine turtles rescue activites of the Turtle Point of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn for several years.
Napoli is a city of a kind. Momentous, colourful, chaotic, dense, hospitable, exciting are just a few words that describe its manifold character. One simply has to come see, feel and taste it: squeeze into the crowded shopping streets, inhale the scent of freshly baked pizzas at every corner, dive into the tranquillity of churches and museums, awe at its magnificent buildings, explore the city’s subterranean passages and taste the sea in the traditional cuisine. Make sure to extend your visit beyond the conference period to visit one of the many tourist attractions in and around Napoli. You will find further details and some suggestions for trips later on this website.
The Turtle Odyssey – from ancient myth to modern exploitation
For the first time we looked for a general conference Theme which would unite all Mediterranean countries in their experience in the history, research and conservation of marine turtles. Because Mediterranean member states share a long history it suggested itself to look for inspiration in old stories, legends and accounts of events. It did not take long to identify the journey of Homer’s famous Greek hero Ulysses as the connecting link which symbolises the struggle of survival on a dangerous journey so alike a marine turtle’s crossing the seas throughout its life. Ulysses visited many places just as turtles do and while they roam in the Mediterranean waters they ignore manmade boundaries. By following their example and uniting us in a common cause we all aim to protect and safeguard them throughout their life.
Four major themes from the Odyssey were adopted to create the program sessions for this conference:
- Homecoming: Synonym for the turtles’ natal philopatry, one session will deal with turtles homing behaviour and all biological aspects related to their reproduction and breeding related behaviour (both on land and at-sea). These topics will therefore be assigned to Breeding Biology and Movements.
- Deception: The theme of Deception as a peril is portrayed in the Odyssey by the sirens who lure sailors to their deaths by seduction. Likewise, turtles are deceived by many dangers throughout their life, including fishing baits, plastic bags and warming seas in non hospitable areas. All anthropogenic and natural hazards to turtles will thus be dealt with in the Threats Session.
- Concealed Identities: Ulysses disguised his identity to protect himself from his fiends. Disguise, or concealed identities are prominent in many aspects of turtle biology, anatomy (e.g. age and sex discrimination), and genetics (e.g. origins). There are still many cryptic aspects of marine turtle biology that need to be uncovered, and studies aiming at these will be welcomed to the Anatomy, Physiology, Behaviour and Genetics Session.
- Hospitality: It is a recurring theme in the Odyssey, where a traveller or beggar was welcomed and provided with food and a place to rest, and represents our responsibility to provide healthy habitats and protect the turtles during their stay and assist them when they are in difficulties. All efforts made in this respect, independent of the habitat, region or life stage of turtles will be gathered in two Sessions: one dedicated to Habitat Management and Conservation Measures and one dedicated to Veterinary Medicine and Turtle Health.
It is important to note that the specific topics are not assigned in the usual way but follow the scheme of the Turtle Odyssey themes. For example, not all work conducted in nesting areas will be contained in Breeding Biology and Movements (Homecoming), but predation of nests are a threat and will thus be included in the Threats Session, while conservation actions such as restoration of degraded beaches belong to the Habitat Management and Conservation Measures Session. More information will be given in detailed session descriptions.
The Conference Logo
The Logo chosen for the conference was inspired by a bas-relief found in the Greek temple of Hera in Paestum just about 100 km south of Napoli. It shows a man riding on the back of a giant marine turtle and this figure has by many historians been identified as Ulysses as a castaway who is being saved by the turtle. Ulysses’ position on the turtle, one hand shading the eyes searching the horizon and one hand secured at the edge of the carapace, lends support to this interpretation. To us this motif was appealing in two ways: not only it bears witness to a shared cultural background among the Mediterranean countries; it also shows how once man were rescued by turtles and founded a liaison that now is endangered by the very actions of human kind. The time has come where the roles need to be switched and man has to become the saviour of turtles. Let the logo remind us on the debt we have to settle with turtles, so that we re-establish a healthy relationship between humans, turtles and our environment.
|Conference Organising Contacts|
|Program Coordinator||Steering Commitee||Travel Grant Commitee|
|Sandra Hochscheid||Flegra Bentivegna||Flegra Bentivegna|
|Program Commitee||Alessandro La Posta||Borja Heredia|
|Mustapha Akissou||Abderrahmen Gannonun||Atef Ouerghi|
|Carlos Carreras||Eladio Fernandez Galiano|
|Paolo Casale||Borja Heredia|
|Paolo De Girolamo||Atef Ouerghi|
|Antonios D. Mazaris|