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Program for the protection and management of sea turtles in Cyprus

Program for the protection and management of sea turtles in Cyprus
On the beaches of Cyprus, two species of sea turtles are reproduced: the Cheloniamydas and the Carettacaretta. In the Mediterranean region Green Turtles are born almost exclusively in Cyprus and Turkey. Caretta breeds in Greece and in smaller numbers in other Mediterranean countries.

In Cyprus, the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (TATHE) implements the Marine Turtle Protection Plan/Program, focusing on Lara Station. The Plan began operating in 1978 and takes place every summer season, with the following main objectives: the protection of turtles, the protection of eggs and small turtles from their natural enemies (foxes) and human activities, the protection and preservation of their remaining breeding habitats, the systematic control of turtle population and reproductive activity in Cyprus, and informing and raising public awareness of the conservation and conservation of turtles and the marine environment in general.

Cyprus Sea Turtle Protection and Management Program is recognized as one of the best programs in the Mediterranean. In fact, it has been selected as one of the best protection programs in the European Union and was on the Natura 2015 Award Finalists: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/awards/application-2015/award-finalists/index_en.htm

Along with the Program, the general public can help protect sea turtles by communicating with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research in case of turtles and/or nesting sightings for their registration in the TATHE database. Data such as the date (and time, if possible) and the area where the nest is located are important so that the trained staff of TATHE can check the possible nest and take steps to protect it. In addition, any stranding turtle can be reported directly to TATHE and elements such as its dimensions, its photograph and the area where it was detected are always useful for the database. Therefore, the public can contact by calling at: 22807835/22807859 (Nicosia), 99489645 (Larnaca - Famagusta), 99725707 (Zygi), 99486130 (Limassol) and 99489642 (Paphos) Dfmr.moa.gov.cy and evasiliou@dfmr.moa.gov.cy

In recent years there has been a general increase in the nesting of sea turtles, particularly the Caretta turtle. It should be noted, however, that this increase is the result of their protection measures taken 20 to 25 years ago and the fact that they are still being taken. For this reason, sea turtles and their eggs are protected by the Fisheries Act since 1971 and the protection of their biotopes in the Lara-Toxeftra area is ensured by the management measures presented in the Regulations of the same Law./ΙΒΝΑ

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