Protection of the Kyparassia Gulf in theory and in practice

The Management Agency of Kotuchi-Strofilia and Kyparissia Gulf, ARCHELON, MEDASSET and WWF Hellas call for the adoption of measures for the permanent, official protection of the Kyparissia Gulf area after the recent violations which took place there.

On the same day that the Ministry of the Environment and Energy renewed the temporary measures for the protection of the Kyparassia area (which is the second most important nesting area of Caretta caretta sea turtles in Greece), and despite the fact that nesting had already started, ‘someone’ deliberately chose to flaunt the current protective measures which apply to the area by literally destroying the sand dunes and beach of the Kyparissia Gulf.


Blatantly violating both Greek and EU laws, on 23 May 2018, with the latent approval of the local authorities, 280 motorcycles took part in a race on the protected areas of the sand dunes and the Caretta caretta nesting beaches, causing unwelcome damage to the dunes and endangerment of the sea turtle nests. Despite the immediate attempts by both ARCHELON volunteers and members of the local community, local authorities did not stop the race.

This disastrous event indicates for yet another time the need to adopt definitive, legally-binding protective measures (“a Presidential Decree”) for the area, measures which must be persistently enforced by all the Greek authorities and which must apply to all citizens. It should be mentioned that because of the destructive events which have taken place in the area in the past, Greece has been already been fined by the Court of the European Union, while the Council of Bern has imposed sanctions against the country.


The Management Agency of Kotuchi-Strofilia and Kyparissia Gulf and the environmental groups ARCHELON, MEDASSET and WWF Hellas, have expressed their satisfaction about the extension of the temporary protective measures for this area to the Ministry of the Environment. The new decision indicates the desire of the Ministry to advance and to complete the procedures necessary for the finalization and implementation of the Presidential Decree to protect the area, which is now being examined by the Council of State. However, the window of time is very limited since the law only allows the temporary protection measures to be extended once, which has already been done.


Until the completion of the process and the announcement of the official Decree, the government and the relevant local authorities should enforce and implement existing measures in every case.

Notes for editors:

1. On 23 May 2018, a decision by the Minister and the Deputy Minister of the Environment and Energy was made public, in which the existing regulations (Ministers’ Decision for the protection of the Kyparissiakos Gulf) covering the following areas were extended for one more year: Natura 2000 “GR2330005: Sand Dunes and Coastal Forest Zacharo, Strofilia, Cacobatos”; “GR2330008: Marine Region Gulf of Kyparissia: Cape Katakolo-Kyparissia” and “GR2550005: Kyparissia Sand Dunes: Neochori-Kyparissia” (ΦΕΚ Δ’ 204). The decision of the ministry includes temporary protection until the finalization of the Presidential Decree which is currently being examined by the Council of State.

2. See the letter of the NGO environmental groups ARCHELON, MEDASSET, and WWF Hellas: http://www.wwf.gr/images/pdfs/2018April_ARCHELON_MEDASSET_WWF_LtrYpourgos_Kyparissia.pdf

3. See the letter of the The Management Agency of Kotuchi-Strofilia and Kyparissia Gulf: http://www.wwf.gr/images/pdfs/epistoli_kyparisiakos.pdf

For more information:

Georgia Caraberou, Coordinator of The Management Agency of Kotuchi-Strofilia and Kyparissia Gulf, 26930 31651, fdks@otenet.gr

Panagiota Theodorou, Conservation Officer, ARCHELON, 6940470194, conservation@archelon.gr

Loukia Kalaitzi, Communications Officer, MEDASSET, 210-3640389, loukia.kalaitzi@medasset.org

Christi Sotiriou, News and Public Relations Officer, WWF Ελλάς, 210 3311988, c.sotiriou@wwf.gr



    Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance

    World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.

    Read more

    Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?

    ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.

    Read more

    ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada

    Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.

    Read more

    What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?

    A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.

    Read more

    Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives

    “ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.

    Read more

    Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded

    Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".

    Read more

    19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe

    Read more

    Messages of love from the world turtle community!

    Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide

    Read more

    When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future

    Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think

    Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre

    “During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!

    Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”

    The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!

    The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role

    Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.

    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!