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Kadis welcomes rise in monk seal population

The endangered Mediterranean monk seal population has had its most significant increase ever recorded in Cyprus, Agriculture Costas Kadis said in Paphos on Thursday.

Their population has now reached 19, Kadis said, and this has been achieved through the protective measures which have been implemented in the past few years.

While he did not give details as to which measures he was referring to specifically, last year his initiative for the expropriation of private property in the Sea Caves area in Peyia – a breeding site for the seals – was approved by cabinet.

Other measures previously taken to protect biodiversity of the Sea Caves include a decree that forbids fishing and access to motorboats in the area.

But Charalampos Theopemptou, MP and head of the Cyprus Greens, recently told the Cyprus Mail that: “In the case of the sea caves in Paphos, they relaxed the planning permits and purposely ignored the seal protection plan. In addition, the illegal removal of rocks from the beach in the sea caves area was ignored and is now considered an official beach.”

Early last month, a breeding site in the north with four adults/sub-adults and three pups were identified in three of the eight sea caves which were monitored, according to a study.

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