More than 2,000 sea turtle nests were located in Cyprus in 2021, Simos Demetropoulos, Biologist-Environmentalist, told CNA.
Demetropoulos, together with Italian native Angela Mastrogiacomo, are experts of the Mediterranean Turtle Research and Conservation Society and, with the technical support of Polis Chrysochou youth, are working to protect the turtles.
Caretta-Caretta turtles are a species endangered by extinction.
Demetropoulos has been working for the protection of the turtles for 40 years.
Together with his Italian colleague, they are carrying out studies, visiting the west shores of Akama, from Toxeftra to Lara and also Polis Chrysochous to the north, the main turtle breeding areas.
Special cages for the protection of the nests are situated in areas to prevent humans from interacting with the turtles and also protect the turtles from foxes.
Last year, more than 2,000 nests belonging to Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta turtles were located at Polis Chrysochous Bay and the west coast.
“Turtles do not want to see us. They need their peace while people’s curiosity unwittingly causes damage”.
Demetropoulos said their survival depends on peaceful surroundings, and if people want to protect them, they need to respect their needs.
Andreas Pistentis, former district officer of the Fisheries Department, urged the public to protect the turtles and not to remain there overnight with bonfires, umbrellas and beds because, apart from destroying the nests, the sand temperature is altered, thus affecting the eggs.
There are turtles in Lara, between Agia Marina and the Polis Chrysochous camping and close to Anassa Hotel in Paphos.
Koula Michael, director of the Terra Cypria-The Cyprus Conservation Foundation, said that these turtles coming to hatch in Cyprus is a blessing.
“With our involvement and the cooperation of the team which monitors the species in Cyprus, we look forward to strengthening actions for raising awareness, preserving and protecting the sea turtles on the island, benefiting local communities to enrich our knowledge about this very important species.”
“We want to promote turtle tourism the right way”, said Michael, and this can only be done with the involvement and cooperation of all associations working together.