Valparaiso: between 27 to 29 October, in the Hotel O’Higgins of Viña del Mar, is developing the 12 meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Inter-american Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (CIT). This activity is organized by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Subpesca, and the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, IFOP.
the convention are: garbage in the ocean and its impact on marine turtles, strategies of mitigation of the impact of climate change in the habitat of nesting beaches, updating the plan of the scientific committee, results of the analysis of the survey on the arts of trawling for species not crustaceans, conservation activities of sea turtle in Chile; reports of the Committee on the loggerhead turtle and the leatherback turtle of the Eastern Pacific.
The Executive Director of the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, Leonardo Núñez, recalled that although Chile ratified the accession to the Convention in 2010, the Institute’s research began a decade earlier, with the incorporation of scientific observers on board of the longline fleet surface, retrieving copies of “this has led to involve the crew in the rescue of individuals, changing the paradigm of fishing operation”.
Núñez also highlighted the relevant studies carried out by IFOP, among which the National Diagnostic, the participation in the development of the Plan of Action for loggerhead turtle, and in regional plan of action to reverse the decline of the leatherback turtle of the eastern Pacific.
With regard to the activities committed by our country, the assistant secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Raul Sunico. He highlighted the work that is developing in Arica with the regional bureau of marine turtle: “In the past three years we have carried out a research program to learn about and protect the green turtle in that area; and recently we had managed to reach consensus to propose the establishment of a Marine Reserve in Chinchorro beach sector of Arica, that would be set as a zone of protection of the species with an area of 73 hectares”.
The Inter-american Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (CIT) is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the legal framework for the countries of the American Continent take actions in favor of these species. The CIT entered into force in May 2001 and currently has fifteen Contracting Parties over a country in the process of ratification.
In our country are present four of the six species protected by the convention:
Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), is located in all the Chilean coast but is found in greater quantity in the northern zone and in the oceanic islands, preferably in the coastal zone more, since in the adult stage is mainly herbivorous, feeding on the algae attached to the rocks.
Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), can be found mainly in the northern region and in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, despite being a carnivorous species are also found in the coastal zone.
Loggerhead Turtle or loggerhead (Caretta caretta), it is now known for its presence in the area south of Peru, northern zone of Chile.
Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), is the species that is found in greater danger of extinction at the global level, and is distributed throughout the coast of Chile, including the oceanic islands.
In the activity also involves the Dr. Patricia Zarate of IFOP, president of the national group of sea turtles, Jorge Azocar, of FIFG, member of the advisory committee of the convention; Francisco Ponce, head of the Biodiversity Unit of Subpesca, NGOS, Carapara, Pacific Lute, Association for the defense of the environment (AIDA), Antonio Palma of the National Marine Fisheries Service.