From the 30th to the 1st of November the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of Lampedusa, Italy, hosted the 2nd Mediterranean meeting of sea turtle veterinarians. This meeting follows the 1st workshop on “Sea Turtle Medicine”, hosted during the 3rd Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles in Tunissia in 2008.
Mariluz Parga, head of Medicine Conservation of SUBMON, was invited to this meeting, where sea turtle veterinarians and rescue centre managers from Italy, Israel, Greece, Turkey and Spain met during three days of talks, discussions and practical workshops.
This is the first time that a meeting for veterinarians is organized, where they can exchange experiences, talk about treatment options for injured sea turtles, and discuss about future research needed in order to improve the rescue and care of these protected animals.Dr Di Bello performs a surgical procedure Measuring a newly admitted turtle
to remove a hook and line from a turtle
The attendees also had the opportunity to see a surgery carried out on a sea turtle with a hook and line in its gastrointestinal tract, an operation completed by Doctor Antonio Di Bello, from the Veterinary School of the University of Bari. A workshop on sea turtle hematology was also organized by Mariluz Parga, so that this easy and relatively cheap technique can start to be used by other rescue centers to aid in the clinical exam and diagnosis of admitted animals.
Before finishing the meeting, all attendees agreed in the importance of improving the veterinary care of sea turtles, and expressed their interest in repeating this meeting once every year, in order to consolidate a veterinary working group in this field.
Cala Giutgia, Lampedusa