Thursday Turtle: Meet Pambos, the romance-seeking turtle wandering in the sea

Pambos, a turtle with a satellite tracker, is looking for love up and down the coast of Cyprus.

The male loggerhead turtle has been moving farther than other turtles and the conclusion is he’s seeking love.

One of the biggest threats seabirds and other marine animals are facing is being incidentally killed as ‘bycatch’ in fisheries. That’s why BirdsofCyprus launched the Cyprus Bycatch Project, aimed at understanding the problem in Cyprus.

Together with analysing bycatch levels and proposing mitigation measures, several capacity-building and outreach activities are also planned to ensure fishers and civil society groups benefit from the project findings throughout its 3-year duration.

One of the activities uses satellite tracking and dive recording of locally foraging loggerhead and green turtles using GPS and dive data-logging satellite transmitters.

Biologists at the Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT), one of the project partners, have identified Famagusta Bay as a sea turtle bycatch hotspot. Through the Cyprus Bycatch Project, fishers declare their bycatch of turtles and other vulnerable species to the project team.

Loggerhead turtles and green turtles found caught in fishing gear are saved by the fishermen themselves and are tracked using cutting-edge satellite-linked GPS data-loggers and dive computers. Meanwhile, drone surveys over the bay are providing us with more information on the turtles’ position and abundance. Our aim is to understand in detail how sea turtles foraging in Famagusta Bay interact with set net fisheries. This information will help us develop mitigation measures that would protect many turtles from being caught in fishing gear, while minimising impact on the fisheries livelihoods.

So far, 12 turtles are being tracked, with most of them having being named by the fishers themselves.

Pambos has become the most famous because of his constant wandering. The only reason, it’s surmised, that he travels so much is he’s looking for love.

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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