The Rescue Center is expanding
Last year brought significant improvements to the ARCHELON Rescue Center facilities in Glyfada. The pumping installations for the tanks was replaced, additional tanks were supplied and connected, a wooden platform was constructed next to the external tanks and modern surgical equipment was acquired as planned in the LIFE EUROTURTLES project. Two new containers arrived and one of them was turned to an operation room using funds from the Green Fund (Ministry of Environment), a necessity for the severe incidents arriving at the Rescue Center. Valuable advice was offered to us by Dr. Anastasia Komninou, Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (EAVE accreditation).
The Rescue Center received 67 injured or sick turtles in 2018, and 30 of them were released back to the sea fully recovered. The number of released animals was low compared to previous years due to the increased number of cases with intentional injuries, for which longer care and treatment is needed.
More than half of the turtles (57%) that arrived at the Center in 2018 had injuries from deliberate actions, while 22% were injuries caused by fishing gear.
The data recorded at the Rescue Center show that the percentage of intentional injuries in total arrivals during 2018 was higher compared to other years and this maybe is reflecting a trend. It must be noted that there is not enough data to discuss this issue at a bigger scale.
In the beginning of 2019, we had the pleasure of welcoming officers from the Meneu Sea Turtle Rescue Facilities in Cyprus, which operates under the support of the Fisheries and Marine Research Department. During a three-day meeting, ARCHELON's team presented how common injuries are treated and people exchanged experiences on medicine and feeding methods, food preparation, as well as tank and facility cleaning. The Fisheries and Marine Research Department of Cyprus is also a partner in the LIFE EUROTURTLES project.
A visit of Tania Monreal-Pawlowsky, a distinguished member of Wildlife Vets International, offered the opportunity to the ARCHELON staff and volunteers to learn about developments on sea turtle treatment issues. During a workshop organized in early February at the Rescue Center, Tania shared her expertise on theoretical and practical issues of sea turtle treatment, in an extremely positive mood.