The organised beach in Gialia is not compliant with the restrictions set to protect the turtles that nest on it, it emerged on social media on Wednesday.

A series of photographs posted by Giorgos Georgiou, a member of the Facebook group ‘Cyprus Environmental Issues’ show the efforts of turtles to nest among sunbeds and umbrellas.

An organised beach operates on the specific spot, which is also a designated nesting site for the caretta caretta sea turtle and part of the Natura 2000 network.

“Where is the fisheries department, to check on whether the restrictions it had set regarding the creation of an organised beach on a protected turtle nesting area?” he questioned.

In the spring of 2021, it emerged that the fisheries department would be allowing the creation of two ‘milder-form’ public beaches in the protected Polis-Gialia area.

At the time, the department argued that this was necessary to ensure the protection of turtle nesting habitats for unregulated use.

As Georgiou pointed out in his post, the department had also stipulated strict restrictions that said beaches would need to comply with, such as the removal of sunbeds from the beach from sunset to sunrise so as not to disturb any nesting activity during the night.

“In the photos you can see the attempts of turtles to nest in between the sunbeds,” he said.

Other restrictions included prohibiting motorised water sports, the absence of lighting on the beach from May 1 to the end of September and the installation of protective cages in case nests are detected.