In the unlikely event that you happen to collide with one of the three species of sea turtles that inhabit the Adriatic while roaming about in a motorised sea vehicle this summer, you will likely have to deal with rescuing a comatose creature from drowning…
Luckily, Croatia Week visited the new Sea Turtle Rescue Centre on the island of Lošinj and has received valuable life-saving instructions, as seen on the illustration below, which enable one to successfully deal with such an unfortunate event. By applying these very same rescue procedures that are now, thanks to the educational efforts of Lošinj’s Blue World Institute and its Turtle Rescue Centre, a regular practice for local fisherman in cases of turtle bycatch, you are sure to save a life of an endangered animal whose population in the Adriatic has been severely diminished.
Unfortunately, just in Croatia alone, it is estimated that up to 2,500 sea turtles per year become victims of human activities, which is why this centre, only the second of its kind in the country, is an important link in the preservation efforts of this endangered and rarely seen marine reptile.
In any case, if you decide to visit the nature-rich and eco-oriented island of Lošinj, whether by sea vessel or any other way, be sure to stop by the Centre, where Mrs. Kristina Volarić aka Kiki, a friendly and knowledgeable student of environmental sciences, or another volunteer of the centre, will show you around and introduce you to Lošinj’s Blue World Institute, and EU’s NETCET project for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Adriatic.
This Centre is the place where you will learn tons of fun facts, such as that the loggerhead turtle – one of the three species that is found in the waters of Croatia – originates from Greece’s party island of Zakynthos and travels to our waters to spend the winter and feed; that the Green turtle – the most endangered species in the Adriatic – is the only vegetarian of the trio; or that the leatherback turtle can cross a staggering 20,000 km in just two years.
Apart from providing the visitors with an opportunity to learn more about these animals through films, touchscreen applications and models, the Centre offers various training courses and workshops, and organises numerous awareness raising activities targeting local fishermen, school children and the general public.
In addition, the Rescue Centre provides facilities for the professional care of these endangered animals, including an operation room, an isolation pool and longer-term environmentally controlled recovery pools.
The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation and its Sea Turtle Rescue Centre operates on donations and offers various volunteering opportunities and adoption programs, as well as souvenirs for both children and adults who want to support the conservation of the Adriatic’s marine life.
So, in case you feel like learning more about these endangered sea animals or are looking to spend a holiday doing more than just chilling on the beach, be sure to visit Lošinj’s Sea Turtle Rescue Centre. You can also learn more about their activities or how to get involved by visiting the Institute’s site at www.blue-world.org