ECOCLUB.com Team Blog
blogging about ecological & socially just tourism & living
Turtles in Trouble
Uncontrolled and ever-expanding packaged tourism and coastal development, along with overfishing in the Mediterranean is taking its toll on resources and what still survives of the marine wildlife.
Above is a pleasant to watch, yet informative video aimed at resort staff (but also suitable for schools) in coastal resorts popular with nesting sea turtles, so that the adverse impact of mass tourism can be somewhat reduced. It was produced by the Travel Foundation (UK) and distributed in Greece through the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET). The NGO carries yearly assessment of major nesting areas such as Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Kyparissia in Greece, Akamas in Cyprus and Akyata, Dalyan, Kazanli Patara and Samandag in Turkey, and submits these to the standing committee of the Bern Convention at the Council of Europe, so that respective governments are forced to respond and take action.
In their annual assessment on Zakynthos Medasset highlight the ongoing threats to the National Marine Park of Zakynthos which was set up to protect one of the most important nesting grounds of the logerhead turtle Caretta. Major threats include an illegal dump, illegal parking lots for tavernas, long-delayed payments of park staff, illegal bars, rent room and tavernas, and inadequate sea patrols. Up to 45 turtles were killed during 2011, 27 of which within the marine park, while there were 786 fewer nests.
Across the bay of Laganas, the long sandy bay of Kyparissia in the Peloponnese, another majornesting ground, is also under serious threat from tourism development. The organisation documents the illegal extension of 3 beach bars in the area of Thines, with pictures such as the one below clearly showing bulldozers ‘improving’ the beach for tourists.
For the full report on Kyparissia see http://medasset.gr/cms/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=200&Itemid=85&lang=en
Some wish to take advantage of the current crisis in Greece and its adverse impact on check and balance mechanisms at the local and central level, to speed through their environmentally-destructive projects. They shall not pass!
Other educational videos by Medasset can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/MEDASSETGR