SPOT is among the longest established marine conservation organisations in Cyprus and is best known for establishing sea turtle nest monitoring and conservation in Northern Cyprus when it formed in the early 1990s.
Partnering with the Centre for Ecology and Conservation in the UK, SPOT’s activities were largely seasonal and centred around the study and protection of nesting sea turtles, their eggs and young. The great successes of this work have been the establishment of five coastal Specially Protected Areas, bringing all the major green turtle nesting sites under protection from insensitive development. And annual clutch counts for both species have been increasing at a pleasing rate, indicating that our work is paying off and that sea turtle populations are beginning to recover. In 2009 we began to look more closely at fisheries and began to expand and diversify our work.
Working with fishers gave us great and broad insights into marine ecology. Our work became year-round, and we now have an annual programme of research and conservation projects working on a range of marine issues, with a general focus on vulnerable species and their habitats. Our work includes monitoring bycatch of all vulnerable species, examining fishery impacts, identifying, and protecting marine habitats, understanding and mitigating marine pollution, developing policy, advocacy, education, engaging and training stakeholders and awareness raising. For more information see our project pages.
We have a growing office in Nicosia with six permanent staff, seasonal staff and over 100 volunteers annually. We run two field centres at Alagadi and Akdeniz villages.