Cyprus Mail

Strict guidelines issued for turtle beaches

A freshly hatched turtle in Lara Bay, Paphos (Photo Christos Theodorides)

THE government has issued strict guidelines on how to protect breeding sea turtles at the Lara and Toxeftra beaches along the western coast of Paphos.

In the guidelines, the Press and Information Office said on Friday that visitors must comply with the legislation, meaning they are forbidden from placing umbrellas, beds, tents, caravans and other objects on the beaches.

They are also not allowed to stay on the beach at night and drive vehicles over the beaches.

Fishing or mooring a boat in the area, the collection of crabs, a protected species, from the beach, throwing away rubbish and lighting a fire on the beach and anywhere else in the area is forbidden.

Those who visit the area and others where sea turtles nest are urged to follow existing paths in order to avoid the destruction of vegetation.

Sea turtles and their eggs in Cyprus have been protected since 1971 by the fisheries law, while the protection of their habitat in the Lara and Toxeftra areas has been safeguarded since 1989.

Two types of sea turtles breed in the beaches of Cyprus, the Green Turtle (Cheloniamydas) and the Caretta caretta. Green turtles reproduce almost exclusively in Cyprus and Turkey, while the Caretta also breeds in Greece and in smaller numbers in other Mediterranean countries.

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