Sea Turtle




ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece

Solomou 57, 104 32 Athens
  Tel./Fax: +30 2105231342 


Since 1983, the primary objective of ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece has been to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring and research, developing and implementing management plans, habitat restoration, raising public awareness and rehabilitating sick and injured turtles.

Priority is given to the elaboration and implementation of integrated management plans in the major loggerhead nesting areas in Greece (Zakynthos, Bays of Kyparissia and Lakonikos, and Crete).In Peloponnese there are three main project areas which are: the gulf of Kiparissia, Koroni and the Gulf of Lakonikos.  

The gulf of Lakonikos is situated in the South Peloponnese and constitutes an important nesting area for the Caretta-Caretta, while the Delta of river Evrotas is a resting, nourishment and reproduction area for many species of the avifauna. The life of the sand-hill zone hosts many protected species like the sea-lily (Pancratium maritimum). In the maritime ecosystems of Lakonikos extended fields of Posidonia are located and constitute reproduction and nourishment areas for many organisms like fish with commercial value. Moreover the sea area of the gulf of Lakonikos has been identified as an area for the development of young species of the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas). 

In 1989 the first pilot programme for fishing in Greece was begun at the basis of Gytheio between the fishermen of Lakonikos and ARCHELON. This programme became the starting point for the enlargement of the activities of ARCHELON in the sea and the development of cooperation programmes with fishermen in other areas. 

Part of the area has been included in the European Net "NATURA 2000" with the code "EVROTAS DELTA" (GR 2540003). In the framework of the community programme LIFE-Nature which took place in the area with the participation of ARCHELON, a special environmental study and a Management Plan for the coastal zone were completed. Their aim is to promote sustainable management with the cooperation of the local society for the effective protection of the natural environment and the sustainable development. 

At the beaches of the gulf of Lakonikos, at a length of 23 km, about 200 nests are made every year. Since 2006 ARCHELON focuses its programme on Mavrovouni beach, at a length of 5 km., which is an index for the remaining area as well. Here the reproductive activity is recorded and the nests are being monitored until the hatchlings have hatched. Informative slide-shows also take place at hotels and camping-sites of the area.