Fishing and strandings of sea turtles in the Bay of Kyparissia

Sea turtles constitute one of the most ancient species of fauna to still exist on Earth. The fossil archives lead to the conclusion that turtles were already around at the time of dinosaurs. Even though dinosaurs have gone extinct, turtles continue to survive to this day. However, turtles nowadays face numerous dangers from various human activities, with fishing being considered one of the most basic threats to the survival of the species.


Every year in the Southern region of the Bay of Kyparissia and, since this year, with valuable help from the LIFE Euroturtles project, also in the Northern region of the Bay of Kyparissia, the researchers from ARCHELON have been recording all turtle strandings with on-site observation. Specifically for the summer period of 2017, from early May to early October, four incidents of dead turtles strandings have been recorded, in which the causes of death are connected to specific fishing activities, from fishing nets entangled on fins to longline hooks stabbed on the turtles’ bodies.

It is now important to point out that, being reptiles, sea turtles have lungs. Many times, once a turtle is somehow trapped in fishing tools, it cannot emerge to the water surface to breathe and so it dies. Their breathing frequency is connected to their activity level. A resting or sleeping turtle, for example, can stay underwater for 4 to 7 hours. However, a turtle entangled in fishing tools and consequently in a stressful situation quickly uses up the oxygen stored in its body and can drown within a few minutes.

Within the frame of the European LIFE Euroturtles project, we aim at reducing the sea turtle death rate caused by fishing tools, through actions like: informing fishermen, distributing special tools for setting trapped turtles free, cleaning abandoned fishing tools from the bottom of the sea and upgrading the rescue network and the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica.

The Hellenic Coast Guard as well as sensitized citizens have been a great help in ARCHELON’s efforts to record the strandings, as well as in rescuing injured turtles. Whoever spots an injured or dead turtle is kindly requested to inform local Coast Guard Authorities as well as ARCHELON so that the incident can be recorded or the turtle imminently rescued.

National Rescue Network for Sea Turtles phone number: 210 8944444, 6941511511

Giannis Chalkias, ARCHELON Peloponnese Project Assistant

Polymnia Nestoridou, ARCHELON Peloponnese Project Coordinator (tel.: 6951009785)

(translation: Betty-Maria Pagourdaki)



    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    "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

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    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

    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

    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!