EU looks over turtle measures

European Commission officials will be keeping a close eye on the Ionian island of Zakynthos until the end of November to determine whether Greece is breaching EU rules by not taking care of the island’s endangered sea turtles. Zakynthos is the most important Mediterranean nesting ground and home for the largest population of the Caretta caretta, or loggerhead sea turtle. The assessment could land Greece in front of the EU’s Court of Justice if recently introduced measures to help protect the turtle from humans invading their nesting areas are seen to be ineffective. Amalia Karagounis-Kyrtsou, the head of the marine park, is optimistic that the review will go well. «I believe the measures that have been adopted are paying off,» she said. The percentage of turtles that lay eggs on the beach this year has risen to 14 percent from 11 percent previously, she added. But the removal of illegally built homes on beaches used by the turtles is among the recommended measures that have not yet been implemented.