On 18 May, volunteers of ARCHELON were informed about a stranded turtle in the Tsilivi area of Zakynthos. The team found this very recently dead loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta which had ingested a large long-line fishing hook that had become lodged in the turtles throat. Worldwide, and in the Mediterranean, interactions with coastal fisheries are the greatest cause of death for sea turtles. As we overfish many fish species, greater fishing intensity is necessary in order to produce the same quantities and this puts further pressure on sea turtles, as well as many other threatened marine and coastal animals and ecosystems.
Fishermen need to be more careful with their fishing practice and equipment, and if these interactions with sea turtles do happen, it is vital that ARCHELON is informed in order to collect and treat the injured turtle. In many cases, turtles can survive with hook injuries for long periods of time and this gives us a good opportunity to rescue and rehabilitate the animal.
To help the sea turtles overcome this challenge we need everyone’s help, this is all of our responsibility. By working together with fishermen and the general public, ARCHELON operates a National Rescue Network for injured or dead sea turtles. This provides vital information on mortality rates and causes and allows the rescue of many, otherwise fatally injured, sea turtles.
These injured turtles are treated and rehabilitated in ARCHELON’s Rescue Center in Glyfada, where volunteers work all year tirelessly caring for these beautiful animals.
Please remember that while these endangered animals are protected within the Bay of Laganas, inside the National Marine park of Zakynthos, they do often travel outside the bay in search of food or following local water currents. So please be careful of fishing, boating and other recreational activities that may harm the turtles around the island.
If you wish to report an injured or dead turtle between the months of May to October in Zakynthos, please contact ARCHELON at (+30) 6940454976.
You may also report injured or dead sea turtles to the National Marine Park of Zakynthos all year-round at (+30) 26950 29870.