Each year many marine turtles wash up dead on the beaches of North Cyprus. Our close work with the North Cyprus small scale fishery indicates that the majority of these deaths occur in the local artisanal fishery. The fishery is particularly active during summer months when turtle numbers are highest in Cyprus waters. Bottom-set gillnets targeting siganids (rabbitfishes) that are set in shallow waters are the main cause of marine turtle by catch. Others are caught on bottom-set longlines.
In order to assess which species and age groups are affected by the fishery we make every effort to record these stranded individuals. Also, through taking various samples from these carcasses during a necropsy we are gaining insights into the origin of turtles using our coast, their diet, sex ratios and general ecology.
If you find a stranded turtle in North Cyprus please photograph it and report it to SPOT. Local volunteers are invited to make regular patrols of their local beaches carrying a tape measure and camera in order to record stranded turtles. If you live locally and would like to volunteer for regular patrols please get in touch.
The appropriate form for reporting stranded turtles can be downloaded here.
All data reported in North Cyprus through our volunteer network is collated at the international Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Necropsy Database (www.seaturtle.org/strand). Here you can access archived strand data for North Cyprus.