17-19/4/2017, Mesolonghi, Greece
One of ARCHELONs rescue network officers accompanied by 1 volunteer, visited the National Park of Mesolonghi Lagoon. The Lagoon hosts many protected species one of which is the loggerhead sea turtle which uses the lagoon as a foraging site. Many natural extensive aquaculture units (divaria) are situated there and during their operations, many turtles are trapped in the enclosures of the facilities. The purpose of ARCHELONs visits in the area and the aim of this LIFE EUROTURTLESs action is to contact fishermen, train them on how to release turtles from the aquaculture units, measure, tag them, photograph and record them and report their sightings to ARCHELON. This was the first visit of the action: several fishermen from 4 fishermens associations were met (Prokopanistos, Tholi, Vasiladi, Schoinias) and initial contacts were made. 2 fishermen were trained on tagging on a replica flipper [photos 1,2]. The weather did not permit ARCHELONs personnel to capture any turtles from the lagoon. This was therefore scheduled for the second programmed visit during the summer. The fishermen were given tagging kits: boxes containing a metal tagger, tags, a notebook, measure tape and a digital camera.
ARCHELON also met with the Mesolonghi Coast Guard, The Management Agency of Mesolonghi Lagoon and a representative of the local yacht club to set up communication for its Rescue Network.