Raquel Briseño and Wallace J. Nichols. 2005. Summary of the Sixth and Announcement for the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Grupo Tortuguero / Sea Turtle Conservation Network “A Sea Turtle Revolution” (Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, 28-30 January, 2004). Marine Turtle Newsletter 106:15.
“Revolutions are not made, they come.”
- Jose Ortega Y Gasset
“No one makes a revolution by himself; and there are some revolutions which humanity accomplishes without quite knowing how, because it is everybody who takes them in hand.”
- John F. Kennedy
The essence of the annual meeting of the Grupo Tortuguero (Sea Turtle Conservation Network) is the participation of its members: local community groups that grow and maintain a regional network of conservationists. This group is working to achieve a balance between sound natural resource management and the well-being of all people who depend on or care about the sea.
After five previous meetings held in Loreto, BCS, the sixth annual meeting was held from January 23-25, 2004, in San José del Cabo, BCS, México, and generously hosted by the municipality of Los Cabos thanks to the hard work of Graciela Tiburcio. Members of 23 coastal communities attended the meeting, comprising a network of more than 300 fishermen and their families, researchers, students, and conservationists of all ages and occupations. At this meeting, 155 participants shared the common objective of saving sea turtles and their critical habitat along the Baja California peninsula, the northwest coast of Pacific Mexico, and the southwest of the United States.
The meeting began on Friday the 23rd, with presentations by: Wallace J. Nichols, who spoke about “The evolution of the Grupo Tortuguero, a network to conserve the environment”; Jeffrey Seminoff, who talked about “What we can learn from monitoring sea turtles in foraging areas: Bahia de los Angeles, a case study”; Dr. Susan Gardner, who presented the topic “Ecotoxicology: identification of critical zones and the effects of toxins on the biological systems”; Graciela Tiburcio Pintos, whose talk focused on “Sea turtles as tourist attractions in Baja California Sur”; Raquel Briseño, who spoke of “Advances, strengths, and weaknesses in sea turtle conservation in the northwest of Mexico”; and Rene Marquez, who talked about “The importance of turtles in Mexico”.
Saturday the 24th, representatives from each community gave activity reports and discussed the obstacles that each area must overcome to achieve success. Saturday night, during an emotional dinner celebration hosted by the municipality of Los Cabos, the Don Manuel Orantes award was presented to the monitoring team from Bahia Magdalena for its excellent work to protect sea turtles. The sea turtle protection program of Los Cabos was also recognized with a special prize.
Interactive workshops led by experts from the turtle network were held on Sunday the 25th. The themes included: Management and care of nests, where interested people followed Pedro Marques to the beach to learn the basic steps for nest protection in nesting zones. Those interested in environmental education met with Susanna Musick of VIMS and Angeles Cruz of the Mazatlan Aquarium to learn new education tools. Participants in this workshop received copies of a booklet produced by ProEsteros, called “Sea Turtles: Know them and protect them”. Serge Dedina and Fay Crevoshay shared their communications experience in a workshop called Methods of Communication. The last workshop was led by Alonso Aguirre and covered the topic of the importance of monitoring the health of sea turtles in the region.
Finally, the meeting closed with a work-plan of action for 2004. Loreto was chosen as the location for the seventh annual sea turtle conservation network meeting, to be held January 28-30, 2005. The Grupo Tortuguero, ProPeninsula, Blue Ocean Institute, Grupo Ecologista Antares, and the Instituto de Estudios Ambientales will work together to coordinate this event. For more information contact Kama Dean <firstname.lastname@example.org> SEE YOU THERE!
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