Posted on 06 June 2016
A story by Theodota Nantsou, Head of Policy, WWF-Greece.
A story by Theodota Nantsou, Head of Policy, WWF Greece, June 2016
In the 1990s, Zakynthos was the symbol of the all-for-profit tourism industry. For me, it was the birthplace of a new life, full of ecological adventures.
Here on Sekania beach, sea turtles were coming every year to nest. It is the single most important nesting site in the entire Mediterranean, and I wanted it to be protected.
While big tourist resorts opened and illegal businesses thrived on the beaches, filling the beautiful sand with plastic furniture, I would meet at night with friends from the turtle protection society to observe and protect sea turtles during their nesting.
In 1994, WWF purchased the land surrounding Sekania beach and successfully contributed to the creation of a National Park around it. Access to the beach at night is now no longer permitted and baby turtles, which usually get out of their nest at that time, can safely head to the sea.
I am proud to have been part of this conservation success !
What is WWF doing to protect the turtle of Sekania beach
The importance of Sekania lies in its numbers: with 500–1000 nests a year, in a stretch of little more than 500m, this beach is by far the most important loggerhead turtle nesting habitat in the Mediterranean! Oh, and it also has one of the highest nesting densities for the species on Earth.
WWF Greece aims at securing this ecologically important nesting beach against tourist development and any degradation.
- With constant presence, fieldwork and scientific research, and an applied management plan controls all important parameters that may affect the area.
- Particularly noteworthy is the collaboration with the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.
- Together with the environmental organizations ARCHELON and MOm, WWF Greece is a member of the board of the Park’s management body.