THE AIM OF THE PROJECT IS TO IMPROVE THE CONSERVATION STATUS OF THE EU POPULATIONS OF TWO SEA TURTLE PRIORITY SPECIES, THE LOGGERHEAD TURTLE CARETTA CARETTA AND THE GREEN TURTLE CHELONIA MYDAS.
Given that the geographical range of these two populations includes areas outside the EU, where the populations are subject to significant fishing impacts, the project recognizes that this aim can only be achieved through a Mediterranean-level approach implemented in both EU and non-EU countries. In this respect, the project aims to extend the ongoing LIFE EUROTURTLES (Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Malta) to another EU country (Spain) and to key areas such as Albania and Turkey (EU candidate countries) and Tunisia (European Neighbourhood Policy country). The project also aims to integrate results from TARTALIFE wherever appropriate, including Italy. The specific project objectives are:
1) Reduce the impact of anthropogenic threats at foraging grounds, with priority to trawl and set nets in Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Turkey and Albania.
2) Reduce the impact of anthropogenic threats at nesting sites in Spain and Albania, in order to (i) guarantee a suitable nesting and incubation habitat for the future, including climate change effects, and (ii) allow a high production of newborns recruiting to their populations.
3) Set up a consistent approach for the conservation of the EU sea turtle populations, in order to optimize current and future efforts and resources in the EU.
4) Set up a network for sea turtle conservation among key actors in EU and relevant non-EU countries, based on common objectives and methods. This network will include the main research and conservation organizations in the countries.
5) Promote among EU and non-EU citizens the concept of shared Mediterranean Sea turtle populations and of the common heritage of natural marine resources of which sea turtles are excellent and charismatic flagship species.