After a bumpy start (roads and mechanically speaking…) and arriving fashionably late by about 7.5 hours, we made it down to the Port Edwards on the Wild Coast, South Africa for #WIOMSA2015. Myself and Clare Prebble (@clareprebble) had just driven 1 300km to attend the 9th conference for the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association, both of us lucky enough to attend thanks to support provided by the student travel grants from WIOMSA.
What’s really awesome about the WIOMSA conferences is that is draws together such a large group of african marine scientists, ecologists, biologists, social scientists and more for a few days to connect everyone and share information and stories of both success and failures. It’s attracts such a broad array of people working within and around the marine environment that it’s a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and sit in on some talks from outside your specialist focus and encourages multidisciplinary thinking.
Clare Prebble gave a great presentation about the exceptional residency demonstrated by Mafia Island, Tanzania’s whale sharks, which are almost all juvenile males.
There was a fantastic attendance of Mozambican marine scientists, which provided opportunities to network and update our colleagues about the latest news from our respective fields.
I presented a scientific poster based on some of my PhD research on the population demographics from Green and Loggerhead sea turtles that use near shore coastal habitats around Tofo.
Given that the nesting turtle season has also commenced, we used the WIOMSA gathering as an opportunity to call an annual meeting of the GTT (Groupo de Trabalhar de Tartarugas Marinhas em Mozambique) to discuss on going work and future plans for the direction of sea turtle research and conservation in Mozambique.
I want to keep this post short and sweet, but there is an extensive book of abstracts complied by conference organisers which summaries the scope and diversity of the hundreds of attendants (http://symposium.wiomsa.org/). If you follow twitter check out the summary from some of most captivating talks by searching #WIOMSA2015