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Injured turtle treated and released into the sea

Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis (third from right) pictured with Eleftheria at her release back into the sea

A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) that was found injured in Limassol last June was released back into the sea on Wednesday after being treated.

The turtle, that was given the name ‘Eleftheria’ (freedom), was released into the sea at Larnaca in the presence of agriculture minister, Costas Kadis, after receiving treatment at the fisheries department’s marine aquaculture station at Meneou.

“It is a day of joy and satisfaction for us, as we are symbolically releasing Eleftheria,” Kadis said.

He said that maintaining biodiversity and marine diversity in general, was his ministry’s priorities.

“In Cyprus, we host two emblematic species, the Green Turtle and the Caretta Caretta, protected by international conventions and European directives, two species that reflect the quality of our seas,” he said.

Each year, he said, about ten sea turtles are found injured and are treated at the Meneou marine aquaculture station before being returned to their natural habitat.

“We have seen in recent years an increase in the birth rate of sea turtles.”

“We have implemented programmes whose success is recognised internationally.”

The minister urged members of the public to notify authorities if they spot injured turtles.

Kadis also said that the results of a study on the protection of the seals in the area of the Sea Caves in Paphos would be released tomorrow.

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