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Turtle nesting season begins in Cyprus

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Photo: Fisheries Department

Nesting season has begun for Cyprus sea turtles, the fisheries department announced on Friday, saying the first nests were spotted at Lara Beach in Polis Chrysochous.

The department cautioned the public visiting the protected area at Lara to follow all the rules in place to protect the turtle nests.

According to the department, from June 1 until September 30, people are not allowed to place umbrellas, beds, trailers, or other coverings on the beach.

Also, the department says people are not allowed to remain at the beach after sunset, and all forms of fishing, including with nets or harpoons is forbidden.

The department added that all year round, people are prohibited from lighting fires, throwing trash, and driving cars on the beach.

It is also pointed out that the passage or anchoring of a vessel in the protected area up to a depth of 20 metres is prohibited from May 1 until October 31. Holders of a commercial small-scale inshore fishing licence are exempt from the passage ban in May and October of each year.

The department added that if anyone is found to be violating the law regarding anchoring a fine of up to €8,543 will be issued.

“Only one to two of a thousand of the hatchlings will survive to return back to the beach where they were born to breed and therefore their strict protection is imperative to ensure the presence of this unique and iconic species that our island hosts,” the department said.

“The presence of such priority species as the two sea turtles, Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas is also proof of the good ecological condition of our marine environment,” the department added.

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