Sea turtles are still in danger in Laganas bay, Zakynthos

July has had a rough start for the sea turtles in the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, where one of the major populations of the loggerhead sea turtle in the Mediterranean nests. On Thursday, July 1, the ARCHELON team was notified by the staff of the Park about a dead female loggerhead near Agios Sostis with an obvious propeller injury.

"We examined the turtle, recorded the incident, and the animal was moved to the sand dunes for a necropsy by the vet" said Nikoletta Sidiropoulou, the Zakynthos Project Manager of the organization. “The turtle bore a metal ID tag and had been recorded by ARCHELON nesting in Sekania this year, on June 20.”

Two days later, on Saturday July 3, another sea turtle was found hit by a propeller in the marine area of Laganas Bay, alive but in a visibly weak condition. The ARCHELON team collected the animal in collaboration with the staff of the Marine Park, but despite the help of the veterinarian, it died soon after.


Over 20 years have gone by since the creation of the first National Marine Park in Greece. However, compliance with the protection measures in the marine area of the Park, which is designated as a Nature Protection Area, remains incomplete and the issue has repeatedly been publicized. In 2019, ARCHELON, together with MEDASSET and WWF, appealed to the authorities, requesting the imposition of fines. Obviously, this request remains unsatisfied, and we are raising it again today. See the relevant post of 2019 here.

Instead of the harsh photos of the two turtles that were lethally hit, we publish the last photo (22.6.21) of the first turtle that was killed, which was provided by the researcher and member of ARCHELON Kostas Papafitsoros. "It is so tragic that turtles which have been coming to lay nests in Laganas for the last decade or two are suddenly killed because some people continue to ignore the rules of the Park," said Kostas, who is participating in the Zakynthos project for the 15th season this year.

The ARCHELON project for monitoring the reproductive activity in Zakynthos continues for the 38th year. The volunteers who, despite the pandemic, came to Zakynthos from Greece and abroad, have been on the beaches every day since May, recording and protecting the nests where necessary, in collaboration with the National Marine Park Management Body.

ARCHELON is a non-profit organization and, while the Zakynthos project is normally self-financed by private donations, it has been co-financed by the Green Fund of the Ministry of Environment and Energy in the last two years, due to the pandemic.

Along with nest recording, the ARCHELON team has also started the public awareness activities, where visitors are being informed about the sea turtles and the threats they face in the marine environment. The activities take place in selected hotels of the area, on the NEFIS and TUI turtle watching boats and at the entrance of Crystal beach from 12:00 - 18:00 daily. The ARCHELON Info Station in the center of Zakynthos city will also be open soon.

ARCHELON believes that safeguarding the marine part of the Park should be intensified and that the systematic presence of the Coast Guards is essential in order to identify violations and punish the offenders. Measures in the marine area must be observed but technical solutions regarding the propellers in the area where the movement and mooring of boats is allowed should also be considered.

We hope to see no more dead turtles this year in Zakynthos.


ARCHELON, Nikoletta Sidiropoulou, Project Manager for Zakynthos, tel.: 6940454976

Follow our news on ARCHELON’s website: www.archelon.gr and social media: https://www.facebook.com/archelon.gr/, https://www.instagram.com/archelon_greece/



    World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?

    But why is tourism important to sea turtles?

    Read more

    Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!

    In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!

    Read more

    World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON

    ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece announces an important outcome of the systematic work of this year's sea turtle nest monitoring team in Zakynthos. Based on their long-term observations, ARCHELON managed to certify a new World Record of reproductive activity for loggerhead turtles.

    Read more

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

    The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.

    Read more

    Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre

    Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.

    Read more

    Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!

    Help us spread the message about the protection of sea turtles by making your own baby turtles with natural materials you will find on the beach. Sand, stones, pebbles, shells, seaweed, sticks and whatever else you have available, can be transformed with a little imagination! Take a photo of your work and send it to the ARCHELON Beach Competition.

    Read more

    Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region

    Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.

    Read more

    An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!

    The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…

    Read more

    The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach

    The nesting season for the loggerhead sea turtles has begun. The nests that are made in the areas monitored by ARCHELON and other collaborating groups are already being recorded. However, if you find tracks or nests on other beaches, you can also participate in the effort to record and protect these sporadic nests. Find out why it's important…

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece

    This is the year when ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, is celebrating 40 years of continuous and targeted action to save sea turtles in Greece and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the project teams of ARCHELON are ready to register the longest period of active reproduction known for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in case it happens this year!

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023

    ARCHELON invites kids and adults to celebrate the environment and the sea in an exciting way at the "Sea Turtle Festival" on Saturday, May 27 at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?

    Highlight: Hi everyone! This year marks 40 years of ARCHELON’s action for protecting sea turtles in Greece. During these four decades, thousands of volunteers from many countries joined our sea turtle projects and the Rescue Centre to help save the turtles. Let’s meet again this coming September and celebrate the animals we saved during all these years.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre

    Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    People are supporting wildlife conservation

    The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    Gail Schofield

    We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read 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!