Τhe local consultation of the Action Plan for Sea Turtles in Greece has been successfully completed
A local consultation meeting on the proposed Action Plan for the 3 species of sea turtles found in the Mediterranean and in the Greek coasts in particular, was hosted by the Regional Unit of Rethymnon, Crete, on the 3rd of February. Rethymnon is one of the nesting sites for sea turtles in Greece.
The most known is the loggerhead sea turtle, whose most important breeding and breeding habitat are found in Greece. The green turtle has also important feeding and wintering marine habitats in Greece, but very little nesting activity. The huge leatherback turtle is an occasional "visitor" to the Greek seas and does not breed in the Mediterranean at all.
At the invitation of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (REN) and ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, 25 representatives of departments, local bodies and environmental organizations responded to the event.
Among the stakeholders involved in the consultation were local Protected Areas Management bodies (Samaria National Park, Protected Areas of Central and Eastern Crete, Dodecanese Protected Areas), Forestry Services (Rethymnon Forestry Department, Rethymnon Forestry Services) , hotel companies (Aquila Rithymna Beach, Grecotel), and environmental organizations MEDASSET and MOm.
During the event, the Sea Turtle Action Plan was presented by Panagiota Theodorou, ARCHELON’s Conservation Coordinator.
The main problems that the Action Plan is called upon to address are the safeguarding of sea turtle nesting on the beaches, the conservation of their coastal feeding and wintering habitats and the reduction of accidental interactions of turtles with fishing gear. Measures to protect nests and nesting habitats, to reduce pollution, especially of plastics at sea and coasts, to preserve underwater feeding and wintering habitats and to adapting to climate change play a key role in the above issues.
The event achieved its main objectives, which were on one hand, to inform local stakeholders about the Action Plan and allow for discussions, and on the other hand to highlight its measures which are considered to be of higher importance by the local stakeholders of Crete. The various actors committed themselves to further cooperation in the next phase of the implementation of the Action Plan, within the next five years.