15/04/2019

Visiting the sea turtle nesting beaches of Crete during spring!

One generation follows another and now the first ever pupils who were informed about sea turtles on Crete in the 80’s have become parents. Their kids, in elementary schools of Chania and Rethymno were, in turn, informed about sea turtles last week. Odysseas Paxinos, the project officer of Crete and Panagiota Theodorou, ARCHELON’s conservation coordinator, carried out ARCHELON’s spring visit on Crete and talked about sea turtles, their conservation, and their role in the global marine ecosystems. ARCHELON’s projects were also presented and the whole summer plan for their beaches was explained.

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The spring visit included Informative meetings in Chania, Rethymno and Iraklion about the implementation of nesting beach protection measures. These include removal of beach furniture during the night (sunbeds, canoes, seabikes), reduction of photo- pollution from private and public lights, avoiding human presence of the beaches during the night as well as avoiding driving vehicles on the beaches. The meetings were attended by environment officers of the Regional Units of Chania, Rethymnon, Irakleion, representatives of the Municipalities, Coastal Guard officers and businesses operating on the beaches.

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According to ARCHELON’s annual report on the conservation of the loggerhead turtles on Crete, 446 nests were identified and protected in the three main nesting habitats - that is the beaches of Rethymno, Chania and Messara bay- , during the 2018 nesting season.

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The tourist season will soon be starting and hundreds of thousands of visitors will be arriving in Crete. In specific beaches, however, they are going to meet with the sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. TUI CARE FOUNDATION is kindly funding ARCHELON’s actions for information and awareness of tourists and pupils. These actions could not be realized without the help of hundreds of volunteers who participate in the sea turtle monitoring and conservation projects of ARCHELON.

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