Lara Turtle Beach Littered with Plastic Pollution
"Several Cypriot citizens and some tourists complained to Nireas Marine Research about heavy plastic pollution...They were shocked and disgusted about the dirt and garbage distributed and asked why the responsible authorities are not doing anything about it," said NMR.
These concerned citizens tried to call the Paphos district office of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research but there was no response.
No garbage bins are provided and the turtle beach is not regularly cleaned. This means that endangered turtles are not protected from eating pieces of plastic, said NMR.
Members of NMR then took action and visited the beach, taking many photos of the pollution.
"Lara turtle sanctuary beach is completely covered by plastic debris and that there is NOT one square meter without micro plastic pieces," said NMR.
Lara Beach is a marine turtle conservation project set up by the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR) in 1978. Its aim is to protect Green and Loggerhead turtles, but with such a high level of pollution, the DFMR is clearly not keeping up its own standards.
Part of the problem could be that environmentalists who dedicated their lives to caring for Lara Turtle Beach are bullied by local residents who refuse to respect building laws in the area. In July 2011, Myroula and Andreas Demetropoulos' car was set on fire in an attempt to bully and intimidate them. It would be a shame if the people who really care about saving the turtles are scared away and cannot be involved - because authorities are obviously ignoring all calls to do something about the situation.
Editor note: The DFMR's standards of apathy and sheer indifference must be remarked upon, and surely set a record even in Cyprus' slow-moving state bureaucracy.
The full set of photos can be seen on NMR's Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.172819986134900.45323.105402609543305&type=3
More photos of Akamas beach pollution taken by Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou can be seen here: https://picasaweb.google.com/107750606415347203305/2011DirtyAkamasBeach#slideshow/5633765185042260594
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