09/08/2019

Collisions of boats with sea turtles continue at Zakynthos National Marine Park - When will fines be imposed?

oi-sygkrouseis-taxyplown-skafwn-me-thalassies-xelwnes-synexizontai-sto-ethniko-thalassio-parko-zakynthou-pote-tha-epiblhthoun-ta-problepomena-prostima-3logos.jpg

"This is the second incident of the year and it was to be expected as many violations are recorded every day and reported to the competent authorities, but no fines are imposed", says Anna Lamaj, the project officer of ARCHELON in Zakynthos.

Meanwhile, thousands of tourists visiting Laganas Bay this summer are beginning to realize that there is no enforcement of protection measures at sea, and many express their concern by sending comments to ARCHELON.

oi-sygkrouseis-taxyplown-skafwn-me-thalassies-xelwnes-synexizontai-sto-ethniko-thalassio-parko-zakynthou-pote-tha-epiblhthoun-ta-problepomena-prostima-archelon_laganas3.jpg

"It is not difficult to see that a boat is moving in the zone where navigation is completely prohibited (Zone A) from 1 May to 31 October. Just as easily, one can observe that a vessel is moving at speeds above the limit of 6 nautical knots established for the rest of the bay (Zones B and C) ”, says Panagiota Theodorou, lawyer and conservation Coordinator of ARCHELON.

"Violating both the speed limit and the restrictions that apply to the maritime zone poses risks to injury and disturbance of turtles in Laganas Bay. Informing visitors and adhering to the regulations can help create a safer environment for Caretta caretta ”, says Harikleia Minotou, WWF Greece, Zakynthos Project Manager.

Hundreds of visitors aboard boats daily to see the loggerhead turtles in the sea, in the part of the bay where navigation is permitted. Many of them are unknowingly involved in causing a great deal of suffering for the turtles, as the code of conduct for their observation is not respected.

oi-sygkrouseis-taxyplown-skafwn-me-thalassies-xelwnes-synexizontai-sto-ethniko-thalassio-parko-zakynthou-pote-tha-epiblhthoun-ta-problepomena-prostima-archelon_laganas1.jpg

In practice we see all measures being circumvented. Usually there are 5 boats around one turtle, more often than not the boats approach each animal as close as 2m and they stay there as long as they wish.

Worst of all, other vessels violate the cruise speed limit and injure or even kill sea turtles that spend most of the year in Laganas Bay. In particular we would like to recall that, in the past years, the ARCHELON team and the staff of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos have rescued several turtles, resident in the area, from hooks they had swallowed. Of these turtles, three adult males have very telling stories. The first, “Achilles”, had a bad end after a speedboat collision in 2017. The second, "Hercules" is now being treated at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with serious injuries. There is a call for evidence and information on this case of collision, which occurred in July 2019.

The third turtle, "Agisilaos", returned to the sea in early July, following months of treatment at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre. This turtle managed to cover the Attica-Zakynthos distance and to return to Zakynthos Marine Park within in a few days. What is the fate that awaits this specific turtle?

oi-sygkrouseis-taxyplown-skafwn-me-thalassies-xelwnes-synexizontai-sto-ethniko-thalassio-parko-zakynthou-pote-tha-epiblhthoun-ta-problepomena-prostima-archelon_laganas2.jpg

The co-signatories, ARCHELON, Medasset and WWF Greece, call upon the competent authorities to take action so that the regulations in the waters of Laganas Bay, which is a Nature Protection Area, are implemented. It is very important that the authorities impose the legal fines in case of violations, so that the protection of the loggerhead sea turtles will not be the objective of Zakynthos National Marine Park in paper only.

Please note: In the event that a citizen / visitor has any evidence of the sea turtle injury in July 2019, it is important that they contact ARCHELON or the Management Body of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.

-------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- ----------------

More information:

ARCHELON, Anna Lamaj, Program Officer of Zakynthos, Preveza and Amvrakikos Gulf, Tel: 6940 454976, email: zakynth@archelon.gr

MEDASSET

WWF Greece

-------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- -----------------

Notes to editors and travel agents

1. The provisions in force in the marine area of ​​Laganas Bay

Specific measures have been put in place in the maritime area of ​​Laganas Bay, Zakynthos to protect sea turtles arriving from various parts of the Mediterranean to lay their eggs. These are:

The 3 zones described in the designation of the National Marine Park (Government Gazette D 906 / 22-12-1999):

The Code of Correct Observation of Sea Turtles from a Vessel, applies in Zone B and is enacted from 2018 with no. 2131.13 / 2063 / 29-5-2018 Decision of the Port Authority (appoint: 975H4653PH-BNZ)

A jail sentence and a fine are to be imposed in the event of someone killing or injuring a protected species. The killing, injury or infliction of any other damage to sea turtles is prohibited. (Laws 1650/1986 (Article 28 - next) and 4042/2012 (Article 3) and Presidential Decree 67/1981 seen in combination)

2. ARCHELON's instructions to visitors to Zakynthos

Visitors ATTENTION! Turtles in the sea!

If you command a vessel in Laganas Bay,

When booking a turtle-boat trip

demand that the Code of Correct Observation of Sea Turtles from a Vessel is observed. This code has been endorsed by the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and registered by the Zakynthos Coast Guard.

Before boarding the boat, inform yourself of the regulations

When you are on board and watching

The institutional framework of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos can be found on their website : http://www.nmp-zak.org/en/node/70

RECENT NEWS

  1. OUR NEWS
    16/06/2024

    30 Years of Hope: The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON Celebrates World Sea Turtle Day

    Every year on June 16th, we celebrate World Sea Turtle Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about these magnificent creatures and the threats they face. This year is particularly important for ARCHELON, as the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre marks 30 years of operation.

    Read more
  2. OUR NEWS
    13/06/2024

    Poster contest for children and young adults: Welcome the 2024 turtle hatchlings on the beaches!

    Watercolors, markers, collage, computer, phone? Everything is useful. Use your creativity and imagination to make an A3 or A4 size poster announcing that the 2024 sea turtle eggs are about to hatch.

    Read more
  3. OUR NEWS
    17/05/2024

    Amvrakikos Project 2024: Special Call for a Field Leader

    ARCHELON is looking for a highly motivated person to lead its project in Amvrakikos Gulf, one of the few foraging sites for loggerhead turtles in Greece linking several populations nesting across the Mediterranean region.

    Read more
  4. OUR NEWS
    16/05/2024

    Τhe nesting of loggerhead sea turtles started earlier this year and the effects of the climate crisis on the oceans are worrying

    For the first time, in the 40 years of ARCHELON records, the first sea turtle nest was found in Laganas Gulf, Zakythos on May 10th. Scientific predictions of the nesting season moving earlier in the spring due to climate change are being confirmed.

    Read more
  5. OUR NEWS
    14/05/2024

    Save Turtles, See Greece on a Budget

    Dreaming of pristine Greek beaches and a chance to make a real difference? Here's why June and September are the perfect months to volunteer with sea turtle conservation efforts in Greece!

    Read more
  6. OUR NEWS
    02/05/2024

    Sea Turtle Festival for Kids 2024

    Save the date! On Saturday 18 May at 11:00, the ARCHELON Rescue Centre opens its doors to welcome young and old sea turtle friends who want to celebrate, explore, learn, play and travel magically in the Mediterranean Sea. We are waiting for you to strengthen our message for a better and sustainable planet!

    Read more
  7. OUR NEWS
    02/05/2024

    A successful year for the International Sea Turtle Symposium

    The International Sea Turtle Symposium concluded triumphantly this March in Pattaya, Thailand, with ARCHELON actively participating.

    Read more
  8. OUR NEWS
    29/04/2024

    A Morning Beach Patrol with ARCHELON

    The camera lens of Stefanos and Maria of SteMajourneys caught a rare sight in the early morning: a Loggerhead sea turtle nesting! The volunteers in Chania took action right away to protect the nest.

    Read more
  9. OUR NEWS
    26/04/2024

    Protecting sea turtles in Rethymno- Our Ocean, an Ocean of Potential

    The 9th International Conference "Our Ocean", which was held in Athens from April 15 to 17, was successfully completed. ARCHELON had the honor to actively take part in the conference and hosted a side event.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS
    12/04/2024

    Coordination for the protection of sea turtles in Rethymno: Local authorities and tourism businesses join forces

    The meeting, which took place on April 5, 2024, in the building of the Regional Unit of Rethymno, touched upon key issues, such as the observance of conservation measures for the protection of the Loggerhead sea turtle. Given the tourist activity on the nesting beaches, the active participation of the tourism sector in the implementation of the measures is necessary.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS
    10/04/2024

    "Tourists and turtles?" The environmental awareness campaign of ARCHELON spreads to the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle

    After the pandemic, ARCHELON - the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece - is once again mobilizing on the path to sustainable tourism. The aim of the new campaign is to provide information on the appropriate code of conduct for visitors to all nesting beaches, in cooperation with the tourism sector.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS
    04/04/2024

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS
    03/04/2024

    Citizens inform us of sea turtle strandings

    ARCHELON started the effort to record the incidents of dead turtles washing up on the Greek shores in 1992. In recent years there has been an increase in these records which may be due to more of our fellow citizens reporting such incidents. Learn more…

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS
    19/03/2024

    Contributing to international developments on sea turtle research and conservation

    In the past, members of ARCHELON were actively involved in the elaboration of the Global Strategy for the Conservation of Marine Turtles, published in 1995, and nowadays three of our collaborators participate in the writing of the revised guidebook “Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles”.

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS
    08/03/2024

    The Over & Above Awards for 2023

    These are the ARCHELON Over & Above Awards for 2023.

    Read more
1 out of 0
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Learn about our latest actions and find out about our programs and how you can help sea turtles!