There has been an increase in the nesting of sea turtles and especially the caretta-caretta turtle in recent years said Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis on Wednesday, adding that he hopes this will continue.
The minister announced on Wednesday the cooperation between the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research and the Terra Cypria foundation for the protection of the two species of sea turtles that lay their eggs in Cyprus – Chelonia mydas and Caretta-caretta.
The collaboration aims to develop a programme of volunteers, mainly from academic and research institutions, to participate and assist in the Turtle Protection Programme, under the guidance of experts, Kadis said.
The participation of volunteers, he said, can contribute to more effective implementation of protection programmes, the increase of social acceptance and, consequently, the participation of the local community in matters of protection and conservation of biodiversity.
The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research has been implementing the turtle programme in Cyprus since 1978, which is one of the most successful international biodiversity protection programmes.
Through this collaboration volunteers will be trained mainly on marine issues of the environment and marine protected species.
Kadis said that volunteering works, “as an ideal example for younger generations, as it highlights the value of participation and in this case in increasing social consciousness, awareness and responsibility for the protection of these emblematic species”.