3. February 2014
A separate problem is the sea turtles beaches in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Sea turtles lay and bury their eggs on the beach. Over time, the eggs hatch and the young sea turtles crawl towards the sea. Unfortunately, a long life is only for a very small part of the young sea turtles. The breeding period of the sea turtles also coincides with the tourist season (May – September). This puts severe pressure on the reproduction of the sea turtles. If beaches are too crowded or too illuminated, the sea turtles stay away. If they can’t find other quiet beaches, they won’t be laying eggs. As a result, many sea turtle species are now threatened with extinction. The protests were especially there when in 2000 a Spanish hotel chain wanted to build a complex on a sea turtle beach in Mexico. For now, those protests have helped. It is better if hotel chains take responsibility themselves and protect the laying beaches instead of destroying them, as the Grecotel in Crete does. This hotel informs its guests about the protection of the sea turtle and places only lamps near the beach that are not visible from the sea.
As a tourist you can also enjoy the special sea turtles in a sustainable way. If you go on a boat trip, then do not go with the so-called “glass-bottom boat”, where the sea turtles could hit their heads to breathe. On the Greek island of Zakynthos, the boats are monitored by the World Wildlife Fund. If they stay around a turtle for too long, they run the risk of losing their license or getting fined. This kind of protective work is important to prevent the extinction of the animals.