‘light’ and ‘sunbed’ warning to operators

It was warned that the use of artificial light on the relevant beaches should be limited and sunbeds should not be placed close to the beach in order for sea turtles under threat of extinction to lay eggs in a healthy way and for the young to reach the sea.

Sea turtles have begun to lay their eggs on the beaches in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions, which are among the largest caretta caretta nesting areas in the Mediterranean basin.

With the measures taken, it is aimed to move the turtles more easily and to preserve the nests with eggs.

prof. Dr. Mehmet Gökoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA) that people living on the coastline, holidaymakers and operators have important duties.

Reminding that the turtles come to the beach at night, Gökoğlu said that camps should not be made on the beach, no walks should be made in places that are thought to be nests, no sun loungers should be placed, no umbrellas should be erected in order not to disturb the animals.

Explaining that the hotels and businesses on the beaches should see them as tourists, Gökoğlu said, “It is very important to protect the nests with eggs. Warning signs should be placed and people should be made aware. Light restrictions should be applied so that the hatchlings can reach the sea.”

Gökoğlu reported that ghost nets left on the sea floor also cause the death of caretta carettas that try to come to the beach every year to lay eggs.

They lay eggs on 22 different beaches in Turkey.

Working in Belek, where more than two thousand nests are detected every year, Ecological Research Association (EKAD) Chairman of the Board Dr. Ali Fuat Canbolat said that there are 22 different nesting areas in Turkey.

Emphasizing that more than 50 percent of the nests in Turkey are on 9 beaches in Antalya, Canbolat said, “Belek is not only a tourism paradise, but also a sea turtle paradise. Belek is the area where the most caretta caretta nests are made in Turkey. “Because of this situation, Belek is the area where the most sea turtle nesting is done in Turkey. It is among the top three beaches for the Mediterranean, and has become the first over the years.” used the phrase.

“Artificial light sources should be minimized”

Stating that the problems experienced in nesting beaches in Turkey are caused by human activities rather than natural threats, Canbolat said:

“The lights of the tourism facilities or settlements located on the nesting beach cause both the adult individuals to come ashore and the young turtles to die before they can reach the sea by going in the direction of the light. Artificial light sources should be minimized and their reflection on the beach should be prevented by both screening and hat methods. “Irregular arrangement of umbrellas and sunbeds and being very close to the shore prevent adult turtles from coming ashore for nesting purposes. At least the first 35 meters from the sea should be separated as a spawning band for sea turtles.”

Canpolat noted that lighting a fire on the beach prevents the adults from going ashore, causing the baby turtles to go not to the sea but to the direction where the fire came from, and to die before they reach the sea.

Hülya Doğan, the operator of the diving center operating in a hotel, said that they visit the beach every morning and protect the nests they see.

Explaining that tourists show great interest in caretta carettas, Doğan said, “Tourists are very sensitive in terms of protecting the nests. They do not disturb the hatchlings at all during the hatching period. Especially on the beaches, the hotels need to pay attention to the lights. Because we noticed the caretta hatchlings coming towards the opposite direction of the sea in the past years.” he said.