Following the recent sighting of two seals in the Kato Paphos coastal area, two large loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) have shared the coastal waters with bathers off the Kato Paphos Municipal Beach the last few days.
Matheos Ierokipiotis, of the Paphos bathers, stated that the turtles appeared around the swimming area markers off the Municipal Beach.
“Many of us were lucky to admire them from up close, admittedly it was an exceptional sight,” said Ierokipiotis.
“It is well known that turtles are friendly towards people and it is worth protecting since it is endangered. I believe that if somehow they remain at the Municipal Beach, they will be an attraction for the area,” concluded Ierokipiotis.
Of the marine turtles two, the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) breed regularly on the island’s beaches.
Both have been declared, by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), as Endangered. Both species are protected under the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention).
Cyprus was probably the first country in the Mediterranean to legally protect turtles, along with dolphins and seals, by passing legislation (Regulations made under the Fisheries Law) as early as 1971.