The project includes 7 main groups of actions targeting loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) EU populations.
a) Actions protecting the nests in order to minimize destruction or bad incubation caused by humans or human-dependent predators. Nests will be detected and protected expanding to new sites by applying successful practices already in use in other sites. New cost-effective practices will also be set up, such as the use of aerial drones for early-detection of nests in need of protection.
b) Actions reducing the impact of fishing, by (i) providing fishermen with the best practices to significantly reduce the mortality of turtles incidentally caught; (ii) removing ghost gears from the sea floor; (iii) providing fishermen with fine-scale information about turtle hot-spots in key foraging/breeding marine areas, derived from fishermen reports, aerial surveys by drones, and remote tracking of turtles by cost-effective new devices. This fine-scale information will enable fishermen to avoid areas with high probability of turtle catch, and will also be used by other actions (d) targeting marine Natura 2000 sites.
c) Actions improving the capacity of rescue networks and rescue centres to promptly rescue and successfully treat injured turtles.
d) Actions creating or expanding Natura 2000 sites in order to include turtle hot-spot areas. A desktop analysis based on existing data and especially on the new data collected (b) will propose new boundaries for the sites and the competent authorities will create/expand the sites before the end of the project.
e) Actions promoting regulations (national and/or local) at nesting sites, designed on the basis of existing information and adopted by competent authorities, in order to reduce permanent habitat loss and temporary disturbance to nesting and incubation.
f) Public awareness actions, targeting both specific categories (e.g. fishermen, beach users) and the general public by means of mass-media, public events (turtle releases), app for smartphones (for a public contest on turtles). These actions will also support actions type a and b.
g) Project meetings among beneficiaries, contacts/meetings with other organizations and with competent authorities, will set up an operating network focused on objectives and methods.