83 organisations advocate for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean!
The Mediterranean Sea is a biodiversity hotspot of high importance worldwide and hosts significant sea turtle  populations across its range for mating, nesting, as well as for feeding and wintering of adult, sub-adult and juvenile individuals. As the largest semi-closed basin on our planet surrounded by 23 countries with a total coastline length of 46.000 km, consequently sea turtle strandings occur every day across the Mediterranean, either alive, injured or dead. It is important that these incidents are managed and recorded. To date, some Mediterranean countries have a National Stranding Network that use a specific protocol for recordings, whereas others operate independently, applying different protocols within the same region. The necessity of the elaboration of a Pan-Mediterranean Stranding Protocol and Database has been identified as a priority, for data collection regarding sea turtles of the Mediterranean . MEDASSET  perceiving this necessity and priority, with the aim of conserving these emblematic creatures, organised a workshop on 24th & 25th February in Athens with representatives from international organisations, ministries, research institutes and NGOs from nine Mediterranean countries: Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. The key aspect of this meeting is the significant role of the representatives […]
Greece hosts some of the most important nesting sites to sea turtles across the Mediterranean Sea, while also holds wintering and foraging sites for resident population of adults and juveniles. In the past few years, a small number of sea turtle nests have been reported in other locations in Greece where nesting has not usually occurred in the past. Additionally, information on stranded individuals has been increasing during the last decade across Greece. Both factors indicate a rising need in identifying and understanding any possible shift in sea turtles’ behavior, as they are a highly migratory species and they may be responding to climatic changes by using new habitats to nest, feed and overwinter. MEDASSET is surveying the North Aegean Coast in the west from Thessalia and Macedonia to the Turkish border in the east including the islands of Samothraki, Thassos, Limnos, Agios Efstratios, Lesvos and Chios, in order to conduct a rapid assessment across the region, in the form of a questionnaire survey targeting fishers, responsible authorities and locals. The questionnaire focus will collect information on nesting and in-water sea turtle presence. Data will be combined with stranding and observation data, to create a baseline to direct further targeted […]
Second year’s fieldwork of “Exploration of potential nesting sites and design of conservation measures for sporadic nesting in Albania “(2018-2019) has successfully been completed
Joint press release of ARCHELON, MEDASSET and WWF Thursday 8 August 2019 Collisions of boats with sea turtles continue at Zakynthos National Marine Park – When will fines be imposed? At the end of July 2019, twenty years after the establishment of the National Marine Park in Zakynthos (ICZM), we witness yet another turtle injury due to a boat collision in Laganas Bay. “This is the second incident of the year and it was to be expected as many violations are recorded every day and reported to the competent authorities, but no fines are imposed”, says Anna Lamaj, the program officer of ARCHELON in Zakynthos. Meanwhile, thousands of tourists visiting Laganas Bay this summer are beginning to realize that there seems to be no enforcement of protection measures, and many express their concern by sending comments to ARCHELON. “It is not difficult to see that a boat is moving in the zone where navigation is completely prohibited (Zone A) from 1 May to 31 October. Just as easily, one can observe that a vessel is moving at speeds above the limit of 6 nautical knots established for the rest of the bay (Zones b and C) ”, says Panagiota Theodorou, […]
MEDASSET participated in the 14th Meeting of Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity Thematic Focal Points
We presented our work for the protection of sea Turtles in the Mediterranean, giving feedback on the threats that continue to exist and calling on countries to take further conservation action.
MEDASSET participates in the Final Event and International Conference of the MEDSEALITTER program in Rome
The Final Event and International Conference of the MEDSEALITTER – Interreg program was organized in Rome, on June 11-12 at Villa Celimontana. The MEDSEALITTER program is a partnership among 11 organizations across four European Countries: Greece, Italy, Spain and France. In Greece the project is coordinated by MEDASSET in collaboration with HCMR. MEDASSET, HCMR, Water Management Secretariat, Thermaikos Gulf and Schinias Protected Areas Management Bodies representatives attended the meeting, together with stakeholders from the European Union, local and international institutions and environmental organizations. Nadia Andreanidou, Project Manager of the MEDSEALITTER project in Greece for MEDASSET, presented the results of awareness raising, communication and policy activities in Greece. The objectives of the meeting were to further disseminate the new Monitoring Protocol, to exchange ideas for its efficient implementation and to create synergies on the basis of the good practices deriving from the program activities.
Second year of exploration of the country’s sandy coast in order to discover which beaches are suitable for sea turtle nesting....
A meeting was held in Tirana on 2 May 2019 within the framework of the research project “Exploration of potential nesting sites
The project “Fishers, Sea Turtles and Sharks: Alliance for Survival”, launched in February 2018 and completed this February, is the first program in Greece and one of the first in the Mediterranean region to implement a multi-taxa approach with the aim to tackle the incidental catch of sea turtles and sharks. One of the most groundbreaking methodologies of the project, the SEAlly© application for smartphones, is available to the public since yesterday, aiming to make a significant contribution to citizen science, as well as collecting valuable primary data on this critical environmental problem. The application is available for free, in android & iOS and is bilingual, in Greek and English. SEAlly© is the first mobile application that allows the recording of multiple species (sea turtles and sharks) whose abundance is not well known. Its “target group” are fishers, port authorities, divers, sailing community and the general public interested in the protection of marine ecosystems. The easy-to-use and interactive design of the application enables the user to input information and data about the geographic location of a sea turtle or a shark sighting, their species, the condition in which they were found or other specific features (eg gender) of the individual. […]
12 February 2019 – Ahead of crucial debates on the financing of the Bern Convention, European NGOs have addressed a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe urging it to ensure the financing and proper functioning of the Bern Convention – the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Facing difficult financial times, the Council of Europe is considering budgetary cuts that inevitably would reduce the Bern Convention’s operations.In their letter, the NGOs reiterate that the Treaty directly benefits Europe’s nature and protected species and are asking decision makers to continue to financially support the Convention. The Bern Convention aims to ensure conservation of wild flora and fauna and their habitats, affording urgently needed protection to Europe’s’ most threatened species and habitats. Encompassing all countries in the European continent, extending to the Mediterranean region, and including both members and non-members of the European Union, theBern Convention forms the foremost binding international legal instrument in the field of Nature Conservation in the European region. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Bern Convention, the NGOs call on the Council of Europe and the member countries not to cut down […]
Joint Press Release: Presidential Decree declares new legal framework for the protection of Kyparissia Bay
Fourteen environmental non-governmental organizations in Greece, have expressed their satisfaction regarding the issuance of a Presidential Decree for the Kyparissia Bay (EU Natura 2000 sites GR 2550005, GR 2330005 and GR 2330008).
Each summer sea turtles lay their eggs on sandy beaches in the east and south regions of the Mediterranean basin (mainly Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, etc). In the past years, a small number of sea turtle nests have been reported in Italy, Spain and other locations where nesting has not usually occurred in the past. This so-called “sporadic” nesting is of high scientific and conservation interest as it may indicate a possible shift in the nesting range of sea turtles towards the west and northern areas of the Mediterranean. Sea turtles are a highly migratory species and they may be responding to climatic changes by using new habitats to nest, feed and overwinter. A research team led by Dr. Enerit Sacdanaku is exploring all the sandy beaches of Albania in order to assess which beaches are suitable for sea turtle nesting. In the first few days of the field work, Dr. Sacdanaku and his team, in collaboration with the staff from Regional Agency of Protected Area of Divjaka – Karavasta National Park, visited the Divjaka beach, where a sea turtle nest had been officially documented a few weeks earlier, found from a local fishermen, Sokol Gjermeni and confirmed by Dr. Vilma Piroli. […]
Accidental fishing, or “bycatch” is one of the most severe threats to marine biodiversity and it is happening on a global scale. It is the unintentional entanglement or capture of non-target species, such as sea birds, marine mammals, sharks and sea turtles in fishing gear – both nets and long lines. Given how critical the issue has become, the joint project “Fishermen, Sea Turtles and Sharks: An alliance for Coexistence” was recently launched. It is being run jointly by NGOs MEDASSET and iSea and supported financially by the Greek Government’s Green Fund. The principal aim of the project, which focusses on the incidental fishing of sharks and sea turtles, is to highlight the problem and provide in depth information to those most intimately involved in the industry. That is, the fishermen themselves. The greater their awareness and understanding, the more chance there will be of turning them from being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution. This is the first programme in Greece but also in the wider Mediterranean region, to take a multi-taxa approach to the bycatch of non-target sharks and turtles. It is being piloted in 5 locations, covering a substantial portion of the Greek […]
The second phase of a dive funded by the European initiative, “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear”, took place on a wreck lying off Alepochori in the Gulf of Corinth
Yesterday, over 13 tons of waste fishing nets were transported from Greece for recycling, thanks to DIOPAS
This year’s third dive of the “Healthy Seas: a journey from waste to wear” initiative took place in the waters surrounding the island of Salamis
Over the weekend of 22-23 July, MEDASSET, in its capacity as coordinator for Greece, managed the first phase of the year’s second dive off the town of Alepochori, at the eastern end of the Gulf of Corinth.
The international environmental NGO MEDASSET (Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles), working to protect sea turtles and their marine and coastal habitats in the Mediterranean, launches its new online game “TEAM TURTLE” at the 37th International Sea Turtle Symposium (15 – 20 April 2017, Las Vegas Nevada, USA). The aim is to bring marine life and the challenges faced by endangered sea turtles closer to everyday experience and to creatively educate children through an activity they would choose for themselves – playing a game!
Fancy a ride around Athens? Join the MEDASSET Team in the 24th Athens Cycling Round and #SweartoCare for Clean Seas!
Press Release: Andromeda Group supports the European Initiative “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear”
The Andromeda Group is not only a leading group of companies in the field of aquaculture in the Mediterranean but also a valued partner of the ground-breaking initiative known as “Healthy Seas: A journey from Waste to Wear”, which for the last two years has been coordinated in Greece by MEDASSET.
Athens, 26 September 2016: Last Saturday, 24 September, MEDASSET in cooperation with the AquaTec diving team performed another successful ghost net clean-up mission, as part of the “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear” initiative in Greece. The team’s mission was to remove lost fishing gear from the wreck of the “Kira Leni”, which sank back in 1978 due to bad weather near the south coast of Patroklos Island. The two main pieces of the wreck, the bow and stern, are now lying at a depth of around 32 metres. Over the years, the wreck has gradually been colonised by a wide range of marine life including moray eels, groupers and smaller fish who seek shelter here. Diving conditions were good, which helped in the success of the mission. The six person team managed to clear the whole of the “Kira Leni” wreck and by the end of the day a total of 250 kilograms of nets had been brought to the surface for processing. Note to Editors: The “Healthy Seas” initiative aims to recover fishing nets from the seas and to regenerate them into high-quality ECONYL® yarn, which is subsequently used in the manufacture of brand-new products such […]
Athens, 16 September 2016: A new online map of sea turtle rescue centres in the Mediterranean has been created by MEDASSET. The new tool was launched at the 41st Congress of the CIESM (Mediterranean Science Commission) in Kiel, Germany (12-16 September 2016). The “Database & Online Map of Sea Turtle Rescue & First Aid Centres in the Mediterranean” is a new project by the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET) which was prompted by a paper by Ullmann and Stachowitsch (2015) that called for ‘better information on the number and types of rescue facilities on a Mediterranean scale’. The sea turtle rescue centres are presented to the public via a new interactive Google Map that is managed by MEDASSET. The primary aim is to provide open access to accurate and current information on all facilities that rescue and care for sea turtles in the Mediterranean. At the same time, the new tool helps increase awareness about the existence of the network of facilities. “Up-to-date information has been provided by each facility, making this a most reliable source” remarked Liza Boura, Project Manager. The information includes the facility location, type, contact details and volunteer opportunities. The map will be periodically […]
Press Release: “Healthy Seas Fashion Project”: the most eco-friendly fashion exhibition is now in Crete
MEDASSET’s (Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles) exhibition of clothing made with yarn reclaimed from the sea has reached the second stage of its journey, after a month’s stay at Golden Hall shopping centre in Marousi. CRETAquarium, one of Europe’s largest and most contemporary aquaria, near Heraklion, Crete, has opened its doors to the “Healthy Seas Fashion Project” and presents the exhibition until the end of September.
ANNOUNCEMENT – 5 July 2016: A new report by MEDASSET reveals that sea turtles are being illegally traded openly once again in the fish markets of Alexandria, Egypt, and that covert trading persists. Sea turtle captivity, trade and slaughter was recorded in 6 fish markets in 3 areas of Alexandria. Fishermen in Alexandria reported that they bring ashore 90% of by-caught sea turtles, instead of releasing them, and estimated an annual catch rate of 4.51 turtles/vessel. MEDASSET – The Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles – carried out a survey in September 2014 – March 2015, through interviews and visits to fish markets and artefact shops in Alexandria. The new report reveals the route traded turtles are taking as they pass from boat to buyer. Sea turtle meat is sold to customers either by fishermen or by fishmongers. Three fishmongers are specialised in turtle trade and at least 36 trade sporadically. Fishmongers keep turtles alive from 1 to 30 days until slaughter. Placed on their backs, they suffer from exhaustion, dehydration, injuries or disease. Fishermen and fishmongers also supply a sea turtle artefact market. Interviewees reported the sale of sea turtle artefacts to tourists, which may imply infringements of […]
ΜEDASSET presents an exhibition of “clothing raised from the sea” at the most exclusive shopping centre in the city of Athens – Golden Hall.
The Korean leading company NK CO., Ltd., being a global leader manufacturing Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS) for ships, and fire- fighting equipment, has entered in to a new environmental sponsorship agreement with MEDASSET (Mediterranean Association to save the sea turtles), as part of NK’s philosophy to preserve the environment and especially the sea. On the other hand, MEDASSET mission is to protect sea turtles and their habitats throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Press Release: Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear – a remarkable example of the Circular Economy at work
On the 17th of May, MEDASSET celebrated the first anniversary of its successful coordination in Greece of the European Initiative, Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear.
Where can there be an overlap between ecology and the circular economy? The environmental NGO, MEDASSET, provides one possible answer: Since the beginning of 2015 the charity has been responsible for the coordination in Greece of the innovative European initiative, “Healthy Seas: A Journey from Waste to Wear”.
Announcement: Alexandria, Egypt – Government steps in to save sea turtles from slaughter in fish markets
Egyptian authorities recently confiscated sea turtles that were illegally traded by fishmongers in Alexandria’s fish markets. Sea turtles are endangered species and their trade or consumption is prohibited by law in Egypt and throughout the Mediterranean.
Athens, May 29th, 2015: The Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the ECNC Group together with MEDASSET (Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles), Aquafil and Nofir held an workshop at the European Maritime Day 2015 entitled “Innovative business models for marine litter in Europe”. The growing threat of marine litter and derelict fishing gear may have been at the core of the presentations and discussions but the emphasis was on the importance of solutions that are integrated in business models involving cross-sectoral collaboration and resulting in prevention and minimisation of marine litter in European seas. The DeFishGear project and the Healthy Seas initiative were showcased by the panellists. The DeFishGear project is carrying out fishing-for-litter activities, setting up derelict fishing gear management schemes in the Adriatic Sea and collecting in the process large amounts of litter and derelict fishing gear. Healthy Seas provides a good example for circular economy. Discarded fishing nets are used to produce top-quality nylon yarn for textile products. On the occasion of the EU Maritime Day and the workshop, MEDASSET and Healthy Seas launched their collaboration in Greece. MIO-ECSDE also presented some first results of a UNEP/MAP supported Mediterranean-wide survey […]
Press release: Swear to care for the Greek Seas, whether you are visiting now or you dream to one day
Athens, 15 May 2015: Swear to care for the Greek Seas, whether you are visiting now or you dream to one day A new environmental action campaign has just been launched, aimed at everyone that will be going to a beach in Greece, encouraging each of us individually to monitor our own behaviour – through the simple power of making a promise! Voluntary beach clean-ups, such as those that have frequently been organised over the past years throughout Greece, served to highlight the problem of litter at sea. But although as individuals we may be aware of the issue, many of us don’t take part in such organised voluntary actions. MEDASSET’s new campaign Clean Seas: Swear to Care aims at mobilising people so that less rubbish finds its way into the sea, while at the same time shining a spotlight on some basic values – like showing respect for others and taking responsibility for our own actions – that seem to have fallen off our everyday agenda. The promises people make will be recorded on a dedicated webpage (www.katharesthalasses.gr). The campaign team will help the public keep their promise through use of its network, activities and wide reaching promotion campaign. Using […]
27 April 2015: Lily Venizelos, President and Founder of MEDASSET was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her accomplishments in the field of sea turtle conservation. The award was made by the International Sea Turtle Society during the 35th annual International Sea Turtle Symposium in Dalaman, Turkey, which took place between 18 and 25 April, 2015. The award comes as a tribute to 32 years of work on behalf of the Mediterranean’s sea turtles. It represents the highest honour the marine turtle conservation community can bestow and is awarded by a committee composed of professionals in the fields of biology and species preservation who are internationally active in the effort to save these vulnerable animals. Venizelos stated: “I feel particularly honoured to be recognised. With MEDASSET, we have fought significant battles for the survival of these endangered flagship species for many years, throughout the Mediterranean. Furthermore we have been doing so in the face of human actions and greed that seem to take no account of the right of other forms of life to exist.” She added “This award simply reinforces our sense of responsibility and makes us determined to continue our work to protect marine ecosystems and […]
Joint Press release: Council of Europe urges Greece to stop plans to destroy Southern Kyparissia Bay
The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats adopted a Recommendation at its annual meeting last week, urging Greece to prevent habitat deterioration and ensure improved protection of Southern Kyparissia Bay. Indicative of the strong European reaction is the call for a permanent construction ban in the area.
With so many options available for your gifts this year, it may be difficult to decide what to get for your loved ones.
29 July 2014: MEDASSET applauds the entry into force of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, on 8 July 2014, within the framework of the Barcelona Convention. Marine litter is polluting the Mediterranean’s ecosystems and is a direct threat to the survival of protected species, such as sea turtles which are especially vulnerable to injury or death due to entanglement or consumption of litter. We encourage and support Mediterranean countries that are now bound by this Plan, to take swift action to implement policies and activities that will ensure litter-free seas and coasts. The announcement issued on 23 July 2014 by the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan is available here. For further information: Ms. Konstantina Kostoula, MEDASSET. (+ 30)-210-3613572, konstantinakostoula[@]medasset[.]org Editor’s notes: 1. Since its founding in 1988, MEDASSET is a Partner to the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of UNEP. Information on MEDASSET’s recent marine litter monitoring and educational activities: Poster: Marine litter and sea turtles: Results of MEDASSET’s activities Campaign: Join in & Clean up Campaign: Small Garbage Campaign: You See the Difference – A Turtle Does Not 2. The Barcelona Convention is the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the […]
The recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) to condemn Greece for the operation of a landfill within the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, did not come as a surprise. Rather, it was the sad result of unprecedented negligence for one of the most important ecological sites and tourist destinations in Greece.
16 June 2014: MEDASSET announced today, on World Sea Turtle Day, the winners of the first International Sea Turtle Beauty Contest. Contestants included representatives from the seven species of sea turtles living in our oceans today: Olive Ridley (“Miss India”), Loggerhead (“Miss Greece”), Kemp’s Ridley (“Miss Mexico”), Hawksbill (“Miss Brazil”), Green (“Miss USA”), Leatherback (“Miss Gabon”), and Flatback (“Miss Australia”). Each turtle entry features a headshot, an image for the swimsuit competition, a funny motto (“Big, black and proud!”), a brief but informative bio, and the turtle’s witty response to a personal question. Starting on May 23rd, sea turtle lovers across the globe could support their favorites in pursuit of seven separate titles: “Miss Travel,” “Miss Exotic,” “Miss Cutie Pie,” “Miss Sexy,” “Miss Mysterious,” “Miss Gourmet,” and “Miss Ocean” (the overall winner). The wide variety of prizes served to highlight the unique beauty and magnificence of each species of sea turtle. By the time voting closed on Monday, June 16th, nearly 200 turtle fans had voted. Miss Greece (the Loggerhead) went home with the overall title of Miss Ocean, while the competitive Cutie Pie category went to Miss Mexico (the Kemp’s Ridley), fittingly the smallest member of the sea turtle […]
Press release: Egypt- Experts & stakeholders discuss conservation of Bardawil wetland and sea turtles
Stakeholders met in Cairo to discuss sea turtle mortality and conservation problems in Bardawil lagoon. The Mediterranean semi-enclosed coastal water body in North Sinai is listed among the Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance.
Press release: Egypt-New report on sea turtle mortality reveals urgent need for protection of Bardawil wetland
20 December 2013: Bardawil lagoon in North Sinai, Egypt, is a unique Mediterranean semi-enclosed coastal water body that is listed among the Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance. Its eastern section – the Zaranik Protected Area – was afforded national protection in 1985 and is renowned worldwide as a key habitat for migratory birds. In response to news in October 2012 of “mass deaths of sea turtles” in Bardawil lagoon, a two-day survey was carried out in November 2012 by researchers of NGOs MEDASSET and Nature Conservation Egypt in collaboration with Dr. M. El-Alwany of the Suez Canal University. Staff of the local fisheries authority (General Authority for Fish Resources Development) and of the Zaranik Protected Area, who first documented the sea turtle carcasses, also participated in the survey. A joint report entitled “Egypt’s Bardawil Lake: safe haven or deadly trap for sea turtles in the Mediterranean?” (December 2013), presents the survey findings and recommended conservation action. The peer-reviewed report can be downloaded at www.medasset.org. The survey and subsequent data analysis was enabled thanks to funding from the British Chelonia Group. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Among the 80–100 sea turtles found dead on the shores of Bardawil lagoon, researchers identified all three […]
December 11, 2013: Bern Convention, Council of Europe: 3-6 December 2013 For the 25th year in succession, MEDASSET attended the Standing Committee Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, the Bern Convention, in Strasbourg, France. The following sea turtle conservation problems in the Mediterranean were discussed: Kyparissia Bay (Peloponnese, Greece): In summer 2013 there were more than 1,300 loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) nests in Southern Kyparissia Bay. Zakynthos, which is considered the Mediterranean’s most important nesting beach, had 1,000 (ARCHELON data). Although the area has been a European Union (EU) Natura 2000 site since 2002 the Greek government has failed in its obligations to introduce and enforce the necessary conservation and management measures. In 2012 the EC issued a Reasoned Opinion to Greece for its failure fully to protect the sea turtles. Since 2010, when MEDASSET first submitted a complaint about the degradation of the area, the issue has been raised on an annual basis. In 2013 the Convention opened a follow up Case File. MEDASSET presented a slideshow on actual and proposed developments during the 2013 nesting season. These included: housing construction; ploughing of sand dunes; illegal roads to […]
The Athens International Airport and MEDASSET welcome travellers and airport visitors to the Poster Exhibition “Inspired by the Marine Environment,” celebrating 25 years of MEDASSET’s environmental and conservation work.
27 November 2012: The adoption of the Action Plan for the Conservation of Sea Turtles and their Habitats in Albania was announced during the 32nd Meeting of the Standing Committee to the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) at the Council of Europe. The Action Plan was adopted through a Ministerial Order (No. 596, 22.11.2012) of the minister of Environment, Forests & Water Administration, Mr. Fatmir Mediu. “The Action Plan serves as a road map for the development of sea turtle research and protection throughout Albania. Its adoption directly contributes to the implementation of international conventions to which Albania is party and that include provision for the protection of sea turtles and their habitats,” said Mrs. Elvana Ramaj, senior expert of the Biodiversity Directorate at the General Directorate of Environmental Policies, Ministry of the Environment, Forests & Water Administration (MoEFWA). “Over 10 years ago, professor Idriz Haxhiu of Tirana University alerted MEDASSET to the presence of sea turtles in Northern Albania. Our long-term research showed that both the endangered loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) migrate through Albanian waters, and that Drini Bay is an important feeding, overwintering and developmental habitat for the […]
5 October 2012: The European Commission (EC) has sent a Reasoned Opinion to Greece for failure to fully protect the endangered sea turtle Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean, in accordance with the European Union’s (EU) Habitats Directive. Joint lobbying by environmental organizations, including MEDASSET, and informed citizens resulted in suspension of the construction of 50 luxury residences along the nesting beaches of Southern Kyparissia Bay. In April 2012, the Secretariat of the Bern Convention announced that due to the ecological importance of the region and to MEDASSET’s complaints, an on-the-spot appraisal should be performed by the Council of Europe. Still pending, however, is the Ministry of Environment’s response to the Bern Convention’s request to arrange for the on-the spot appraisal, which will likely take place in October 2012. In September 2012, the EC asked Greece to improve the protection of sea turtles in Kyparissia Bay. In October 2011, the Commission opened infringement proceedings, but Greece continues to tolerate a significant number of projects and activities that have not undergone the appropriate assessments that correspond to an EU NATURA 2000 Protected Area. Greece has failed to adopt the necessary measures to establish and implement an effective system of strict protection for […]
12 June 2012: The Psyhico local community in Athens joined MEDASSET in sending a message to Brussels in relation to the forthcoming EU fisheries reform in 2012, which constitutes a unique opportunity for transformative change towards sustainable European fisheries.
Press Release: Shipyard construction plans threatening endangered sea turtle nesting beach in Fethiye, Turkey
8 April 2011: Fethiye-Göcek Specially Protected Area (SPA – listed under the Barcelona Convention since 1988) includes one of the 12 most significant Caretta caretta  nesting beaches in Turkey. Pressures due to unplanned construction and developments to accommodate tourism activities on the nesting beaches at Fethiye have continuously been increasing since 1988, resulting in a scientifically documented dramatic drop in nesting. An additional development is currently being considered by Turkish Authorities: the relocation of the shipyard/drydock currently situated within Fethiye town, to the very middle of Fethiye’s Akgöl nesting beach (a.k.a Karaot District) seems to be imminent. During 2007 – 2009, two-thirds of all nests in Akgöl were laid next to the planned project area, i.e. on the sandy sections of the beach. In 2010, almost half of all nests in Fethiye were laid in Akgöl. The shipyard/drydock project would permanently and irrevocably destroy the key nesting sites of Akgöl beach and affect the already declining nest numbers in Fethiye SPA. This project will lead to increased human presence on the beach, construction of new roads accessing the beach, new buildings, major lighting installations, mooring installations, noise, oil, solvent and paint pollution. The planned construction of a huge jetty […]