LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme involves 9 Beneficiaries from 6 EU Countries (Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece and Cyprus) in a common effort to protect East Mediterranean Sea turtles. This project is co-sponsored by the EU and the Beneficiaries (ARCHELON, as the only beneficiary from Greece, is providing the same resources to support its implementation) in order to carry out these actions on land and at sea.

LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme has been running for a year already and the first results are already apparent!

In particular, as far as the laying period of Caretta Caretta in Greece is concerned, ARCHELON had the chance to “elongate” its actions to the species laying sites, as recording and protecting the sea turtles was random so far (C1 action). The results were remarkable: On the North Golf of Kiparissia, from Neda to Alfios River (meaningly, northern than the area of action of the multiyear Golf Association Programme), 387 nests were discovered and 278 of them were protected.


At the beach front of Evrotas (NE from the area of the multiyear Association Programme of Gythio beaches), 174 nests were discovered and 56 of them were protected. In addition, a new collaboration was established, between ARCHELON and the Katouchi-Strofylia Lagoon Managing Body and Mr Dionysios Mamasis. At the area Kounoupeli- Kotychi, 26 nests were discovered and 23 of them were protected. An “intensive” 3 week programme begun at the beach of Preveza (Kastrosikia-Mytikas), under the supervision of the Zakynthos Area Programme Coordinator, Anna Lamaj, where 3 nests were also discovered and protected. The observation and protection Programme in these areas includes another innovation: the Peloponnese Area Programme Coordinator, Mrs Polymnia Nestoridou and the Monitoring Leader, Mrs Sonia Doblado, after having training sessions with ARCHELON’s Scientific Officer, Mr Alan Rees, they performed drones flight testings for spotting nests on the laying sites beaches of the North Golf of Kiparissia and Laconia and for observing sea turtles at their reproductive natural reserves at sea.


This new technology (once the implementation of the national legislation on drones is concluded), will be incorporated, where deemed necessary, in ARCHELON’s permanent methodology. It is to be noted that, thanks to the drones’ use, a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was spotted in close proximity to the laying site beach of Evrotas, while from the recent scientific data this specific species was not supposed to approach depths less than 50 meters of this area.

This programme has also certain actions for addressing the threats that sea turtles face by fishing activities. In particular, it includes sharing tools with fishermen, information sessions, interviews with the use of questionnaires and the creation of “hot spot” maps that contain the areas that represent the most intensely inhabited by sea turtles that need to be avoided by the fishermen as much as possible. In particular: In collaboration with HCMR of Crete (Representative, Mr Kapantagakis Argyris) a tool-cutter, that can be easily used in order to cut the line near the hook of a turtle that has been caught in long-lines, was created. Since January 2018 and for the next months, this tool will be handed to fishermen using long-lines to fish in the areas northern of Kissamos, Kassos, Karpathos, Kythira, Napoli, West Greece and subsequently to Euboea (Action C2a). Additionally, in collaboration with the Operator of the Mesolonghi Lagoon and Fishery Associations, there was an update of the fishermen for the presence of sea turtles in the reserve (the lagoon is a very important food field) and the best way of their liberation from the beds when they get captured in them (action C2b), as well as training for 4 experienced fishermen in order to spot sea turtles.


The Mesolonghi action was effected by a volunteer of the Association, Mrs Marina Delligiannaki, the Peloponnese Area Programme Coordinator, Mrs Polymnia Nestoridou and Paul Tsaros, Coordinator of ARCHELON Rescue Network, who suddenly passed away last September, leaving a great gap for the Association.


One year LIFE EUROTURTLES. LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme shall ensure the Centres and Sea Turtle Rescue Networks upgrade (action C5). So far, ARCHELON had the capacity to equip the STRC in Glyfada, Attiki, with 2 new care tanks as well as to provide transport tanks for injured animals and First Aid Kits to several Seaport Authorities in our country.

It is to be noted that LIFE EUROTURTLES Programme includes various activities on public awareness. Notably, with the support of the Programme, many sea turtles that have been cared for in the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre have been liberated and public nest excavations have been performed in Peloponnese and Crete. In terms of awareness, with the participation of the illustrator and specialist in environmental interpretation, Mr Vasilis Chatzibarsanis, an up to date and modern training material will be published, that will meet in the best way possible the requirements of training for the new generations. Within the LIFE EUROTURTLES framework, the training material will be translated in English as well as the other Stakeholder countries languages.


Every year the 9 Beneficiaries Meeting is organized in one of the 7 countries of implementation (action F1). In 2016 the 1st meeting was organized in Zagreb, Croatia, under the auspices of the Museum of Natural History of Croatia and the Blue World Institute. This year’s meeting took place in Larnaka, Cyprus, on September 26th to 28th, under the auspices of the Oceanographic Institute of Cyprus University and the Fishery and Maritime Research Department of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Cyprus.


During the last meeting, the stakeholders had the honour to tour the protected area of Lara-Tokseutra, that constitutes a very important reproduction reserve for the green turtle, as well as the caretta caretta, from one of the first “turtle supporters” of the Mediterranean, Mr Andreas Dimitropoulos.


(translation: Irene Neofytou)



    Sea Turtles Surprise us: if you see tracks on the beach, help ARCHELON's research!

    Not all beaches on Greece's extensive coastline are suitable for sea turtle nesting, but sometimes these marine reptiles surprise us! This summer, ARCHELON is asking for your help to investigate a phenomenon called "sporadic nesting".

    Read more

    ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!

    In areas where a sea turtle associates human presence with food, it’s behavior changes. The turtle treats humans as well as other turtles as competitors in its feeding grounds and tries to drive them away with bites.

    Read more

    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
  10. OUR NEWS

    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
  11. OUR NEWS

    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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. OUR NEWS

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more
  15. 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
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!