Diving all around Cyprus offers many opportunities to dive with the magnificent loggerhead and green turtles.
We are increasingly seeing more and more of these wonderful creatures in Cyprus waters, but their continuing protection is a constant concern. While we have seen record nests on parts of the island we still see many discarded dead corpses floating out at sea or washed up along the coast. The main threats are fishing nets, boats and beach tourism. There are great efforts from the Green Party and environmentalists to raise awareness of how to protect turtles out to sea and also to protect their nesting sites from any distruption.
Diving all around the island we have seen a steady increase of sightings on our dive sites, and we have been able to get quite close to turtles when diving without disturbing them.
All along the Paphos coast and north along the Akamas and Polis areas there are regular sightings. From dive sites such as Cynthiana, Pistol Bay and St Georges Island we probably dive with them just about every week. Off Pissouri there are good sightings too with a number seen around Jubilee Shoals this year. On the Akrotiri peninsular record numbers of nests were reported this year and they have started to appear around the various wrecks in Cyprus.
The Zenobia wreck is also another great spot for regular sightings as is the Limassol wrecks, with a sighting almost guaranteed on every dive.
Cyprus has perfect underwater conditions, ideal nesting beaches and plenty of food for visiting turtles. The neptune or sea grass, as it is commonly known, is a main food source for turtles and there is plenty of it here. This grass is also protected in many areas around Cyprus so this is good news too. Cyprus waters are also home to many sea sponges and this is a favourite meal, we often see turtles feeding on these during our dives.
It is always a pleasure to share a dive with these awe inspiring creatures. We only hope that the authorities and public continue to develop in their understanding of how to best protect our turtles, a creature that has been diving in the seas for millions of years.