After a long summer and even longer start to my fall semester, the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Summit has come and gone. Over the last 3 days, there were 15 delegates from the Tambrauw Regency of Indonesia and about 30 representatives of different marine organizations/agencies (except those from the federal government). Everything went smoothly at the event, despite the concerns over the government shutdown. The big question at the press conference, “what’s next?”
After all the hard work that was put in to planning the Summit, getting the Indonesians to Monterey, and drafting the Memorandum of Agreement, leatherbacks should be even more protected. As Peter Dutton said, “this is just the beginning.” During the breakout sessions there was discussion of ways to continue to have an educational exchange between both countries. Plans to have future fundraisers were put on the table to better fund the partnership to protect leatherbacks. Even the governments discussed a plan to meet again in the future for the second leatherback summit (possibly in Indonesia). I have high hopes for the future of this agreement and for the plight of the Pacific leatherbacks!