Another loggerhead turtle was reported nesting at Għadira Bay on Monday night.

The Environment Resources Authority said that the new nesting is adjacent to another turtle nest at the bay.

Officers from the ERA and Nature Trust who were on site confirmed the sighting and the new nest, which was then cordoned off to protect the eggs. 

This is the fourth confirmed loggerhead turtle nest this year. Malta is currently hosting three nests - two at Għadira Bay and another at Golden Bay. Eighty-five eggs hatched between the August 2 and 4 from the first nest at Ramla l-Ħamra in Gozo.

The loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta is a long-living, slowly maturing marine species that lives in tropical to warm temperate areas.

It is classified as a globally endangered by the World Conservation Area and is protected by various national and international legislation.

Capturing, killing, taking, and trading these turtles, as well as the deliberate disturbance of the species, particularly during the period of breeding, rearing and migration, is prohibited and subject to legal action.

Even the destruction of eggs or taking of eggs from the wild is strictly prohibited and constitutes a criminal offence.  

The national ‘Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations’ impose a minimum fine of nearly €500 and going up to nearly €2,400 for each egg that may be destroyed or taken from the wild.

The area where the loggerhead turtles has laid its eggs is also a protected area under the Environment Protection Act and a Natura 2000 site through the EU Habitats Directive.

The ERA said on Tuesday it would continue working in close collaboration with Nature Trust, the Environment Ministry and other public and private entities to protect the nest.

Provisions currently listed in the present Emergency Conservation Order will be extended to safeguard both nests.  

Excessive noise, trampling and light close to the nesting area may pose a threat to turtle eggs and any hatchlings, the ERA said.

ERA thanked the public for its support and co-operation.

Any observations of turtle activity or environmental illegality should be immediately reported to the ERA on 9921 0404 or ced.nature@era.org.mt.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us