Since 1983, the primary objective of ARCHELON,
the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece has been to protect
the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring
and research, developing and implementing management plans,
habitat restoration, raising public awareness and rehabilitating
sick and injured turtles.
ARCHELON is a Partner to the UNEP/Mediterranean
Action Plan, a member of the European Union for the Conservation
of the Coasts (EUCC). Members of ARCHELON participate in
the IUCN/Marine Turtle Specialist Group and contribute to
the formulation of the international strategy for the conservation
of sea turtles.
ARCHELON works closely with state agencies,
the local authorities, institutions, other NGOs, fishermen
and local inhabitants in order to mitigate and reverse population
reduction of sea turtles. Certain projects are co-funded
by the European Commission. Priority is given to the elaboration
and implementation of integrated management plans in the
major loggerhead nesting areas in Greece (Zakynthos, Bays
of Kyparissia and Lakonikos, and Crete). On Zakynthos ARCHELON
conducts its projects under an agreement with the National
Marine Park. Pilot sand dune restoration projects have been
carried out behind nesting beaches.
- ARCHELON relies heavily on voluntary work.
Every year over 500 volunteers from all over the world
are invited to help with the work on the nesting beaches
and the Rescue Centre.
- Every summer the major nesting areas in Greece
(Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and Crete), around 75 kilometres
are daily monitored.
- Every year over 2,500 nests are protected
against human threats, predation and sea inundation.
- Every year around 300 turtles are tagged
in order to monitor their movements in the sea. Recently
satellite transmitters have been used.
- Over 50 injured sea turtles are treated every
year at the Rescue Centre at Glyfada (Athens).
- Three permanent and 10 seasonal stations
are operated by ARCHELON on Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and
Crete. There are also working two First Aid Stations in
Rethymno and in Amvrakiko Bay.
- About 200,000 tourists are directly contacted
through ARCHELON's diverse programmes every year
- Over 15,000 students participate every year
in the educational programmes.
- ARCHELON participates in four Management
Agencies of protected areas (National Marine Park of Zakynthos,
Amvrakikos Bay, Mesolonghi Lagoon and Strofylia-Kotychi
Lagoons) where sea turtle habitats are found.
- Volunteers Training Centre has been established
for the environment, where seminars and presentations are