Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance Launches on World Wildlife Day
Juno Beach, FL – This Wednesday, March 3, 2021, marks World Wildlife Day and the launch of the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance (STRA) with Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) as its flagship U.S. hospital. The STRA will provide a professionally designed cloud-based platform to share resources, information, and tools to bridge the gap between leading sea turtle hospitals and smaller-scale rescue centers. The STRA is founded and funded by OceanCare, a Swiss non-governmental organization (NGO), committed to protecting the oceans and marine fauna through a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.
On World Wildlife Day, the STRA will officially welcome its first members to join the interactive global network. The goal of this community is to support smaller centers in developing countries that currently have limited access to additional knowledge and expertise in the field.
“This initiative reflects a need to address recent human activities that have threatened the survival of these ancient animals. Human-wildlife conflict incidents such as plastic ingestion due to increased marine debris, entanglements in fishing gear, and blunt trauma from boat strikes and propeller injuries are just a few of these threats.,” said Dr. Maximilian Polyak, Director of Rehabilitation at LMC.
While decades of conservation efforts have shown positive results, tens of thousands of sea turtles are still lost each year to bycatch, overharvesting and illegal trade. Today, three of the seven sea turtle species are critically endangered whereas nearly all sea turtle species are classified as endangered. To combat this, STRA will distribute data and new technologies to strengthen the chances of saving more sea turtles from every touchpoint. The new digital platform will include:
● a directory and an interactive global map of rescue centers to encourage collaboration, engagement, and act as a public reference of rescue locations for injured turtles.
● enhanced connectivity between professionals and veterinary efforts.
● live case consultations between members and the ability to provide telemedical support.
● a centralized sick turtle management system to record medication, treatments and diseases.
“Marine turtles have survived the dinosaurs, meteorite impacts and the ice age. The biggest threat to their survival, however, are the impacts caused by humans,” said Fabienne McLellan, Director International Relations at OceanCare. “We are confident that STRA will become an effective global instrument to save many crucial lives.”
The network will continue to develop and roll out new features for the remainder of 2021. The first quarter of 2022 will also amplify its impact with the addition of new and exciting features. Starting now, the STRA is seeking collaborators and centers that are interested in joining the initiative. This entails volunteering for crucial roles, including regional focal points, reviewers for medical procedures, and content creators.
To make a difference, join the STRA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation, and educational institution that promotes the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits, and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.
Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance
The Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance (STRA) has been spearheaded and financially supported by OceanCare, a Swiss NGO, committed to protecting the oceans and marine fauna holding Special Consultative Status on marine issues within the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. STRA’s steering committee consists of an international team of veterinarians working with sea turtles, and founder Dr. Claire Petros works for the Olive Ridley Project in the Maldives, Dr. Max Polyak is the Director of Rehabilitation at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Dr. Alessandro Ponzo is the founder and one of the directors of Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines. Dr. Alex McGhee is instrumental in developing data solutions for sea turtle patient recording and management and has facilitated a wonderful partnership with Provet cloud, a veterinary management system that is being customized to work with sea turtle rescue centers. Fabienne McLellan, the Director of International Relations at OceanCare brings marine animal conservation and international policy expertise to the team.
OceanCare is a Swiss non-profit organization. It was founded in 1989 and has a strong commitment to realistic and cooperative initiatives. The organization works at the national and international level in the areas of marine pollution, environmental changes, fisheries, whaling, sealing, the captivity of marine mammals and public education. OceanCare holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is a partner of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and the UNEP/CMS Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS). OceanCare has also been accredited as a Major Group to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), which is the governing body of UNEP and is a part of the UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter. www.oceancare.org.