Within the Mediterranean only the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nest (Margaritoulis, 2003) with the green turtle population being so depleted from historic levels it is listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red Lists (ERASG, 1996). Recent population reviews for loggerhead turtles (Margaritoulis et al 2003) and green turtles (Kasparek et al, 2001) indicated that little was known concerning the status of sea turtle populations in Syria.
In 2004, during beach surveying efforts for nesting turtles in Syria, a ‘major’ new green turtle population was discovered on the 12.5km beach south of Lattakia City (Rees et al, in press). Additionally it was learned that there are high levels of interactions between Syrian fisheries and marine turtles (Jony & Rees, in press; Rees et al, 2004).
Both nocturnal surveys during the nesting season and co-operative efforts with fishermen afforded the first opportunities to observe turtles in the wild, to obtain basic biometric data and tag the turtles before they returned to the sea after nesting or were released after being caught in fishing nets.
Posted by Eco Adventure Arabia