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  • Writer's pictureMike Piddock

Turning the tide: Claire Petros from the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance

Updated: Jan 18

Dr Claire Petros is the founder and director of the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance (STRA), a UK-based charity dedicated to aiding sea turtles and their veterinarians worldwide. Claire envisioned creating regional teams of sea turtle veterinarians to train others globally, aiming to enhance knowledge and treatment standards for these ancient, majestic creatures.

Sea turtles face numerous threats due to human impact, ranging from oil spills to entanglements in fishing nets, plastic pollution, and collisions with boats. Vets, primarily trained in domestic animal care, often lack the expertise needed to treat stranded sea turtles adequately. 

This challenge inspired Claire's vision:

Fostering a global network to share best practices, improve medical treatment, and elevate rescue centre standards.

Claire's path intersected with GoodFX through Rob, an old friend aware of her dedication to sea turtle conservation. Claire discussed the challenges of international funding for workshops and supporting local communities. 

Rob introduced her to GoodFX's services, offering an innovative fundraising avenue through international money transfers. This partnership marked the alliance's first step towards leveraging global financial support for their cause.

As the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance continues its mission, Claire envisions a future where more workshops are made possible, essential equipment is provided to centres worldwide, and their team expands. Each contribution received through partnerships like GoodFX directly fuels their efforts, allowing for greater impact in sea turtle conservation globally.

Often necessary medical equipment necessary for diagnostics is lacking or limited in rescue centres that are most in need. Funding can deliver basic diagnostic tools and support from the Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance Team and network to provide ongoing medical support for clinical cases. Equipment such as dopplers, to monitor the patients heart rate, during medical procedures, ultrasounds to diagnose internal abnormalities, and microscopes to evaluate blood and faecal samples from patients to decipher the best course of action to treat the individual. 

STRA aims to deliver at least two regional workshops each year in areas that are most in need of veterinary support. These workshops consist of 4-5 days of lectures and practical sessions hosted by experienced sea turtle vets, and it helps to harness this sense of community. STRA will continue to host online gatherings to discuss clinical cases and keep the knowledge expanding and being shared. 

The platform is also in the process of acquiring a patient management software to give free access to all its members so that all patients can be followed during the course of their treatments, and when necessary STRA affiliated vets can be called upon to discuss clinical cases and offer valuable advice to improve their treatment, by accessing the patient files remotely. 

Claire emphasises the critical role of sea turtles in our ecosystem and the urgency to address the challenges they face, primarily stemming from human activities. 

By supporting the charity's work, individuals can be part of a global initiative to safeguard these magnificent creatures.


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