Loggerhead Sea Turtle
By Julie Dodd, Oct 25 2018 08:00AM
I recently returned home from a trip to Zakynthos which I took to witness first-hand the human effects upon the Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta Caretta). I have been eager to visit this area with the idea of developing a project since researching ocean litter online and coming across volunteer opportunities to help with sea turtle conservation issues. https://www.archelon.gr/eng/volunt.php?mid=2
When I visited the beaches around Laganas and Kalamaki I was shocked to see the area strewn with litter. Some was litter left by visitors to the beach but some of the litter had become ocean rubbish, being washed in and out of the shore. Offending items included (but not limited to) hundreds of pieces of plastic of all shapes and sizes, plastic bottles and lids, used cable ties, broken glass, dog faeces and far too many cigarette butts to count. There were numerous signs explaining the importance of the ecological system the holidaymakers were engaging with, which also asked people to take their rubbish home with them but it seems very little notice is taken of these signs.
I was also shocked when taking a boat trip to turtle island. The company looked the part but when we got out on waves the driver said the speed limit was 6knots and smirked when teling us he was doing 30. I was disgusted , the limit is there for a reason. When we arrived at the island I couldn't believe that tourists hiring boats were anchoring the vessels in fenced off areas so that they had shallower water to wade through to get to the beach.
I am going to do some research on the tourismin in Zakynthos as it doesn't seem that any rules are being followed.