Social media posts help shed light on the impacts of “turtle spotting” in Laganas bay, Zakynthos


The island of Zakynthos has become a major international tourist destination, receiving hundreds of thousands of holiday makers per year. Every summer, a large number of tourists typically observe sea turtles either from a boat, usually by organized boat tours or by snorkeling in the blue waters of Laganas bay.

Two ARCHELON members - Kostas Papafitsoros and Aliki Panagopoulou- along with Gail Schofield are the authors of an innovative scientific study shedding light in tourist and sea turtle interactions in Laganas bay, which was published in the journal Animal Conservation as open access article last month.

The study examined more than 3500 social media photos and videos of loggerhead sea turtles taken in Laganas bay during 2018 and 2019. The team used photo-identification techniques to quantify how much and how often each individual loggerhead was photographed by people on boats and by snorkelers. It was thus possible to obtain entries of 139 unique turtles in a total of 1684 viewings in 2018 and 122 unique turtles in 2105 viewings in 2019 (boats and underwater viewings combined).


The study also showed evidence of carapace damage by boats on 9 out of the 54 “resident” turtles viewed in 2018 and 2019. One of them, the male loggerhead which was found to be the most photographed turtle by people on boats in both years, was the one that ended up fatally injured in 26 July 2019 by boat propeller, possibly during “turtle spotting” activities.


The authors point to the need of further studies but also to a stricter enforcement of the 6 knot speed limit that currently exists in the bay. They also suggest that the use of propeller guards should be made compulsory to all the boats used for turtle spotting in Laganas Bay.

Concerns about the impacts of the ever increasing “turtle spotting” pressure in Laganas Bay have been raised consistently by ARCHELON and MEDASSET during the last years. Clearly there is more to be said and done to improve sea turtle conservation in this area.

Read or download the publication in our page here.

Check out the on line publication and supporting material.



    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

    "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

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more

    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

    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

    The Over & Above Awards for 2023

    These are the ARCHELON Over & Above Awards for 2023.

    Read more

    The moving experience of Frederique at the Rescue Centre

    At ARCHELON, you'll have the opportunity to meet and work together with new people and form lasting friendships - a major benefit of volunteering.

    Read more

    Presentation of ARCHELON 2023 Results: Here is some good news!

    On Thursday February 15th, 2024, ARCHELON’s annual Presentation of Results took place downtown, at the Impact Hub Athens. When welcoming members, staff, collaborators, friends and volunteers, Daphne Mavrogiorgos, Director of ARCHELON, spoke about the multi-leveled action of ARCHELON during 2023.

    Read more

    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
  10. OUR NEWS

    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
  11. OUR NEWS

    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
  12. OUR NEWS

    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
  13. OUR NEWS

    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
  14. OUR NEWS

    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
  15. OUR NEWS

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

    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!