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This project is a geographical extension of the ongoing LIFE EUROTURTLES (LIFE15-NAT/HR/000997), with same objectives, approach and actions. 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.

University of Pisa – Biology Department The University of Pisa was founded in 1343 and is one of the oldest and largest universities in Italy. The Department of Biology was constituted in 2006, bringing together a range of disciplines which study life at all levels of biological organization. The Department of Biology has excellent infrastructure and equipment to provide advanced research in laboratory and field conditions.

The Department has a team of experts on sea turtle biology and conservation, with specific expertise on the Mediterranean region and fishery-related conservation issues, which perfectly matches the conservation actions of this project. Moreover, the project manager of this project is an expert on sea turtle conservation (he is co-chair of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group, IUCN) and has also conceived and set up (and is the scientific coordinator of) the ongoing LIFE EUROTURTLES (LIFE15-NAT/HR/000997), of which this project aims to be an integrated geographical extension.

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Fondazione Cetacea was founded in 1988. Since 2008 it operates in the field of environmental conservation. It manages the Riccione Marine Turtle Recovery Center able to treat 40 sea turtles at the same time. It is recognized by the Emilia Romagna Region as a Marine Wild Animal Recovery Center. It has treated and released 638 sea turtles from 2008 to the present day. It works in close contact with the marinades of Emilia Romagna and Marche. It has participated in European projects, Tarta Net, Adria Watch, Shark Life, Net Cet, Adriatic Plus, Tartalife, Clean Sea Life.

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The Faculty of Sciences of Sfax is a public body under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research set up by virtue of decree 87-5 and law 87-62 dated September 13, 1987. It has 6 departments (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Computer Science) and a Language Unit. The faculty also provides preparatory studies for the engineering cycles (Math-Physics,Physics-Chemistry and Biology-Geology). In the faculty, there is 26 laboratories and research units from which 5 Laboratories in the department of Biology. One of them is the Laboratory of Biodiversity and Aquatic Ecosystems which is concerned by this project. This laboratory is composed by a team of 17 researchers (Professors, Lecturers and assistant professors) and about 30 Doctoral, post-doctorl and masters students. In this Laboratory, several studies concerning Biodiversity, Parasitology, microbiology, Planctonology, Fish and fisheries. Studies concerning sea turtles are conducted and several theses (4 finished and one in progress) and master’s degrees (5 finished) dealing wih these protected species have been prepared and supported. Studies concerning nesting, interactions with fisheries, strandings, sex-ratio …etc, are conducted and many papers were published.

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Herpetofauna Albanian Society (Shoqata Herpetofauna Shqiptare)

The Herpetofauna Albanian Society (HAS) is a non-governmental organization working on the scientific research and conservation of the environment and different species of amphibians and reptiles in Albania. HAS was founded in 2001 from a group of biologist and ever since has grown in membership not only in biology and ecology but in other disciplines as law and economics, too. HAS has three main programs – research, education and conservation. These programs provide a framework for executing projects aimed at furthering the understanding of the biology and ecology of the amphibians and reptiles, identification of human impact in their populations and ways of mitigation, as well as involvement of the public in nature conservation. HAS works on both land and marine habitats, covering the entire country and both Adriatic and Ionian Sea. HAS aims to advance sustainable terrestrial and marine management through national, regional and international collaborations. The recent studies focus mainly on endangered animals like sea turtles.

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Pamukkale Bilim Merkezi Derneği (Pamukkale Science Centre Association-PSCA) was established in 1973 asa private non-commercial organization. The constitution of the PSCA was changed in 2004 in order to support University researchers to find extra financial support, coordination, and advisory for their projects. In this respect, PSCA has received and managed different projects. PSCA is mainly supporting the activities and coordinating projects of Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (DEKAMER) since its foundation in 2008. PSCA have been carrying out projects on sea turtle conservation and biology, rehabilitation of marine animals, biodiversity, fisheries interactions with marine animals, and increasing public awareness studies in collaboration with DEKAMER.

• Sea Turtle Monitoring and Conservation Projects in Köyceğiz-Dalyan Specially Protected Area (2008-2018), Fethiye-Göcek Specially Protected Area (2011-2018), and Göksu Specially Protected Area (2011) Funding organization: Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization

• Sea Turtle Monitoring Projects in Dalaman-Sarıgerme Sea Turtle Nesting Beach (2008-2018) Supporting organization: Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

• Marine Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Project (2011-2015) Funding organization: Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Company

• Developing a conservation project to address sea turtle bycatch mortality in Mediterranean coast of Turkey (2016-ongoing) Funding organization: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of International Conservation Marine Turtle Conservation Fund

• Turtles and Tourists can be Together (2018-ongoing) Funding organization: TUI Care Foundation

• Conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean Region (2017-ongoing) Supporting organization: MAVA Foundation

• Understanding Mediterranean multi-taxa ‘bycatch’ of vulnerable species and testing mitigation- acollaborative approach (2017-ongoing) Supporting organization: MAVA Foundation.

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The University of Valencia UVEG has become one to the top five scientific centers in Spain thanks to the wide range of teaching and research activities offered in all areas of knowledge and its commitment to excellence. The Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE) headquarters resides in the Science Park of the UVEG. The Institute currently consists of approximately fifty staff researchers, along with a similar number of doctoral and postdoctoral students, all grouped in about fifteen research groups. The Marine Zoology Unit (MZU) is a research group from the ICBiBE. The MZU research is concentrated on two main topics: conservation biology and parasitology ( Research on conservation biology at the MZU focuses mainly on cetaceans and sea turtles. Since 1988, the MZU has acted as the scientific authority monitoring strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Valencian Region, hosting the Mediterranean Database of Cetacean Strandings (MEDACES). The MZU has been also coordinator of EU’s Natura 2000 Network study to identify MPAs for cetaceans and marine turtles in Spain, also carrying out studies of aerial surveys to obtain population estimates and distribution data of marine megafauna since 2000. The MZU has been working since 1993 in feeding, marine debris ingestion, genetics, fisheries interaction, parasitology, nesting and reproduction biology, migration and conservation of marine turtle species in the Mediterranean and other countries such as Equatorial Guinea or Dominican Republic. The representative of the MZU for the project is Dr. Jesús Tomás, invited member of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, ex-member of the Board of Directors and current member of the Nomination Committee of the International Sea Turtle Society and coordinator of the Marine Turtle Tagging Group for the Valencia Region. The other permanent participant will be Professor Juan Antonio Raga, head of the MZU.

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Grant Agreement LIFE18 NAT/IT/000103. This website has been produced with the assistance of LIFE financial instrument of the European Union. The information and views expressed on this website are the sole responsibility of LIFE Euroturtle project partners and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union.

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