Given recent reports from the public about turtle sightings in shallow waters around the coast, the fisheries department said on Monday it was normal and no reason for concern.
“During the summer season there is a strong presence of sea turtles in our coastal waters and mainly in shallow waters, where they mate and feed mainly on marine plants,” the department said.
During the spawning season, Cyprus hosts two of the seven species of sea turtles in the world. These two species are the Carettacaretta and the Green Turtle (Cheloniamydas).
“Both are spectacular and emblematic and their presence in our areas is part of their life cycle for both for foraging, as well as for mating and egg-laying,” it added.
Sea turtles are migratory species. They use the beaches of Cyprus for their nesting and then, at the end of the nesting period, most of them begin their journey to other areas of the Mediterranean for foraging and where they remain until they make the journey back for breeding.
It offers advice to the public urging people to observe sea turtles from a distance, without touching them. They should not be given food as it may affect their natural behaviours and have negative consequences on their natural feeding instinct.
“Sea turtles live free in their natural habitat and we are just visitors to their home,” the fisheries department said.
“From the moment of out first encounter with such a species as the sea turtle we witnesses nature in its purest form and we must, as far as possible, each with his actions and actions, preserve it as such”.
The department reminds the public that in case they find an injured turtle they can contact the numbers below during state office hours and outside office hours.
(16:00 – 20:00 Weekdays)
|Nicosia||22 807 853||N/A|
|Larnaca||24 304 294 / 24 422 888||99 48 96 45|
|Famagusta||23 834 172||99 48 96 43|
|Limassol||25 306 800 / 25 306 804||99 48 96 51|
|Paphos||26 821 680||99 48 96 42|
The injured turtles are transported by the staff or other authorised bodies for the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre that operates at the Cyprus Marine Aquaculture Research Centre in Meneou.