The National Marine Park
In 1999 the National Marine Park was founded in order to protect the flora and fauna of the island and to ensure the protection of the wildlife, this was necessary due to the Southern coast of Zakynthos being the favorite breeding area of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta. The Western shores are also home to the endangered Mediterranean monk seal Monachus Monachus. The area covered by the Marine Park includes the sea area and islets of Laganas Bay, the nesting beaches of the loggerhead sea turtle including the land area surrounding them, the wetlands of Keri Lake and the Strofades islands which are located some 40 miles South of Zakynthos. The area of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos is characterized by different types of ecosystems of National and European interest, such as dune systems, underwater Posidonia seagrass beds (Posidonia oceanica) and coastal ecosystems. There are hundreds of species of flora and fauna found here.
It is forbidden for any boat or vessel to enter or moor within Zone A, fishing with any kind of gear is also prohibited. In Zone B is it forbidden for any boat or vessel to travel at a speed greater than 6 nautical miles per hour, it also prohibited to moor or anchor in this zone, fish farms are banned in both zones. In Zone C mooring is permitted however the maximum speed limit is again 6 nautical miles per hour, so high speed boats are banned from pretty much all of the Gulf of Laganas. Sekania beach is a strictly protected area and entrance here is allowed only for researchers endowed with special permission. Night flights are also banned as the aircraft’s have to pass over the beach of Laganas and the lights and noise of the aircraft’s would disturb the turtles during nesting.
In summary there are six nesting beaches altogether located within the Gulf of Laganas covering a total length of 5.5km, and every year from early May until mid August an average of around 1200 nests are made on these beaches.