Environmentalists Protest Wedding at Turtle Breeding Grounds on Anassa Beach

paphos turtle

On September 7th, environmentalists are holding a protest against a beach wedding organised by Anassa Hotel near turtle breeding grounds.

The bulldozer which leveled the beach has already destroyed 70-80 turtle nests, said environmentalists.

The hotel said it has operated for two decades and done its best to respect the environment. It awaits an official decision about the event, according to a statement.

Click here for the Facebook eventĀ 

Anger and disappointment has followed the decision to allow the wedding to go ahead. Justin Bieber and singer Christina Aguilera are performing, and both stars have come under fire for their appearances. In the most recent developments, Agriculture Minister Kouyialis withdrew the permit.

Bulldozed beach at Anassa damages turtle nests. Credit: Alpha news

The Green and Loggerhead turtles are an endangered species that have been protected in Cyprus for close to three decades.

The conservation movement started in the 1970’s when oil slicks damaged the coastline and wildlife. The oil slicks were cleaned up and the turtles found safe grounds on beaches like Lara.

For a wedding to take precedence over the fragile ecosystem and future of the turtle species is incomprehensible. If the event goes ahead it sets a precedent for more large-scale social events in Polis area. Then where does it stop? Will permits be given to hold raves and beach parties at Lara Beach?!

Baby turtles instinctively run to the sea by following the light of the moon at night. When there are lots of bright lights and noise, the turtles get disoriented and go in the wrong direction. When they can’t reach the water, they get dehydrated and die, or get eaten by predators.

Cyprus relies on tourism to bring billions in revenue every year, so where does it make sense to damage the environment and destroy its natural beauty? It received a lot of funding for environmental protection and has built a good reputation based on the turtle conservation movement. Will this all be thrown away for a party?