The 2022 turtle nesting season is underway, with nests already registered on the beaches of Rethymno.
Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, is in charge of monitoring and recording the nesting season on Crete. Volunteers from all over the world are putting nesting signs and they are providing environmental information to the public at the info point located at the entrance of Rethymno’s Old Port.
Turtle eggs have an incubation period of around 45 to 70 days.
Sea turtles Caretta caretta are threatened or endangered, which is why it’s critical that we protect them.
Locals and visitors are encouraged to follow these quick tips to protect sea turtles and their nests:
- From the May 1st till the end of October the cleaning of the beach must be done manually.
- Vehicles are not allowed to enter and move on the beach. Heavy vehicles should not be used because they will destroy the nests.
- Sun beds and umbrellas should be placed on axes perpendicular to the wave and at a distance of more than 3 meters between them. Sun beds should be removed / hung high every night (at sunset) to leave space for breeding sea turtles, according to the current legislation.
- The sand between the marine furniture should not be covered by wood corridors.
- Marine furniture should be washed in an area outside the beach, so as not to moisten the nests and rot the eggs.
- Beach parties are not allowed on the beach.
- Avoid human presence, noise and artificial lighting on the beach in the evening.
- Remember that sea turtles live free in nature - avoid feeding and touching.
- Traces of turtles and babies on the beach should be left intact until the daily count is made by the research team of ARCHELON.
The public is reminded not to disturb a turtle nest, and if they spot an unmarked nest or see a turtle crawling in the area, please report the sighting to the Archelon.
For more information: Lydia Koutrouditsou, Project Manager of Crete
Come to Rethymno July to September when turtle nests begin hatching. Archelon volunteers through scheduled excavations are ensuring that as many baby hatchlings as possible reach the sea water safely.