Posidonia Oceanica – the secret of Messinia’s crystal clear waters!

Marine Life

Posidonia Oceanica – the secret of Messinia’s crystal clear waters

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   03 Jan 2024

A macro photo of posidonia oceanica in the deep.

One of the main attractions of Messinia lies in their crystal clear waters. The sea often takes on a vibrant turquoise hue, reminiscent of the Caribbean, creating a surreal experience. Interestingly, this breathtaking phenomenon is attributed to Posidonia oceanica, one of the world’s largest and oldest living organisms thriving on the sandy sea floor.

Named after the Greek sea god, Posidonia oceanica is a type of seagrass abundantly found throughout the Mediterranean. Posidonia Oceanica or Neptune grass, is often confused with seaweed because of its shape and colour, but it is actually an underwater plant with fruits, flowers, leaves, stem and roots. It is also an important indicator of the health of the marine ecosystem as it only lives in clean water.

The lungs of the Mediterranean.

Posidonia plays a pivotal role in our marine ecosystem, acting as a vital habitat for a diverse array of species, including fish and seahorses. These organisms depend on Posidonia for essential activities such as feeding, breeding, and seeking shelter. Beyond its ecological importance, Posidonia serves as an exceptionally efficient carbon sink, with seagrass capable of storing up to 15 times more carbon than the equivalent area of terrestrial forest. This carbon sequestration occurs at an accelerated rate, with the carbon trapped for extended periods, spanning millions of years.

The plant further contributes to water purification and oxygenation processes. Through its metabolic activity, Posidonia filters impurities and releases oxygen into the water, constituting more than half of the atmospheric oxygen essential for terrestrial life. Consequently, Posidonia is aptly termed the “lungs of the Mediterranean,” reflecting its critical role in carbon sequestration and oxygen production within the marine environment.

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Ensuring the preservation of Posidonia is imperative, given its multifaceted environmental benefits. Posidonia meadows host over 1,000 species of animals and plants in the Mediterranean, serving as crucial spawning grounds for various commercially significant species. Each square meter of these meadows contributes up to 20 liters of oxygen daily, emerging as a primary source of sea and atmospheric oxygenation. Additionally, these meadows function as CO2 sinks, capturing substantial quantities of this greenhouse gas. Notably, they also play a protective role, safeguarding the coastline from erosion. The comprehensive ecological services provided by Posidonia underscore the necessity for its conservation and sustainable management.

Under threat.

Posidonia, an abundant marine plant in the Mediterranean Sea, confronts a precipitous decline attributable to various causative factors. The mechanical damage stemming from trawling, boat anchoring, turbidity, coastal development, and agricultural nutrient discharges, coupled with pollution and climate change, collectively imperil its existence. The plant’s vulnerability to these stressors is heightened by its limited genetic variability and protracted growth, rendering it inherently less resilient in the face of disturbances.

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Regrettably, notwithstanding its stature as a paramount natural asset, Posidonia finds itself in a precarious state of endangerment. Over the preceding four decades, the western Mediterranean has experienced a noteworthy depletion, losing approximately one-third of its meadows. Climate change emerges as a formidable threat, with escalating sea temperatures triggering seagrass deterioration once the critical threshold of 28°C is surpassed. Recent observations underscore peak temperatures reaching as high as 29°C.

The escalating pollution in the water, compounded by unregulated boat anchoring, compounds the challenges faced by Posidonia Oceanica. Given its exceptionally sluggish growth rate, measuring less than one centimeter annually, the impact of a solitary vessel deploying its anchor can result in a denuded patch, necessitating centuries for rehabilitation. Urgent and concerted conservation efforts are imperative to safeguard this invaluable marine species and address the multifaceted threats contributing to its precipitous decline.

Taking Action.

To ensure the preservation of Posidonia oceanica, a range of proactive measures and initiatives have been implemented, reflecting a collective commitment to its conservation. Various regulatory frameworks, including EU legislation, the Bern and Barcelona Conventions, as well as national legislations, provide legal safeguards for this species. Additionally, EU fishing regulations impose restrictions on trawling activities near the shore, and several marine protected areas have been established along the Mediterranean Sea to secure the habitats of Posidonia oceanica.

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To actively contribute to the protection of Posidonia oceanica, individuals can adopt the following practices:

1. Advocate Responsible Boating:

When embarking on a boat trip, passengers are encouraged to communicate with their captains, urging them to avoid anchoring in Posidonia meadows. The utilization of the Posidonia MAPS app can assist captains in identifying safe anchoring zones, minimizing the impact on these critical habitats.

2. Choose Environmentally Friendly Sunscreen:

Opt for environmentally conscious, chemical-free sunscreen options. Conventional sunscreens often contain pollutants that can contaminate water and pose a threat to seagrass health. Locally produced alternatives, such as those by Sol de Ibiza and Ibisun, offer sustainable choices, with a percentage of proceeds contributing to conservation efforts by organizations like IbizaPreservation.

3. Support Posidonia Protection Projects:

Contribute to Posidonia protection initiatives by making donations through designated platforms available on websites dedicated to conservation projects. Financial support directly aids in implementing and sustaining programs aimed at preserving Posidonia meadows.

4. Become a Posidonia Ambassador:

Actively engage in spreading awareness about the significance of Posidonia oceanica. By becoming a Posidonia ambassador, individuals can play a crucial role in educating others about the importance of this marine plant and advocating for practices that ensure its long-term survival.

Through collaborative efforts and individual commitments, the conservation of Posidonia oceanica can be advanced, safeguarding not only this remarkable species but also the broader marine ecosystems it sustains.

5 Unforgettable Things to Do at Messinia Region

Sightseeing

5 Unforgettable Things to Do at Messinia Region

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   5 November 2023

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Welcome to the realm of Messinia, where Greece’s natural beauty converges with luxurious amenities. In this blog post, we’ll explore five exciting activities to enjoy at Pylos Bay.

Get ready for an extraordinary journey as we reveal the activities that await you at this remarkable destination.

1. Sail the Navarino Sea

You’ll feel the passion for the water on this world-famous bay. Discover all the treasures this bay has to offer when you navigate to Sfakteria or Sapienza Island. Prepare to be captivated by nature’s artistry as you chase the sunset.

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2. Embrace the Great Outdoors

Unleash your spirit of adventure with thrilling outdoor activities that connect you with nature’s wonders. Trek along rugged trails that lead to breathtaking vistas, paddle through picturesque coastlines, or embark on a cycling odyssey with Bike the way. We invite you to unleash your inner explorer and forge unforgettable memories.

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3. Delve into the Marine Wonderland

Plunge into the crystal-clear depths of the Ionian Sea with the esteemed PADI Scuba Turtles Dive Center. Dive into the blue and discover the marine life thriving beneath the surface. Immerse yourself in this captivating underwater world and witness its secrets firsthand, scuba diving here is an experience you won’t want to miss.

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4. Uncover the Treasures of the Past

Explore the rich cultural heritage of the region by visiting the nearby archaeological sites. Stand in awe at the birthplace of the Olympic Games in Olympia, or explore the mysteries of the Palace of Nestor. Unearth the secrets of the past and let history come alive before your eyes.

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5. Unwind on Pristine Beaches

Messinia is blessed with breathtaking beaches that offer a slice of paradise. Sink your toes into golden sands, soak up the sun’s warm rays, and take a refreshing dip in the azure waters of the Ionian Sea. Whether you prefer secluded coves or lively shores, the beaches here cater to every preference.

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Pylos Bay offers a wealth of experiences that cater to every traveler’s desires. From diving into the enchanting underwater world to exploring ancient ruins, this destination truly has it all. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Messinia and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Plan your visit today and unlock a world of extraordinary experiences.

5 Fun facts about Nudibranchs

Marine Life

5 Fun facts about Nudibranchs

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   04 Aug 2023

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Step into the world of nudibranchs, those delightful and fascinating marine creatures! Picture this: soft-bodied gastropod molluscs, gliding gracefully through the ocean, shedding their shells like a symbol of transformation after their playful larval stage.

Now, here’s where things get truly magical! Nudibranchs are nature’s artists, donning the most extraordinary colors and striking forms. Their vibrant appearances have earned them some pretty charming nicknames like “clown,” “marigold,” “splendid,” “dancer,” “dragon,” and even the whimsical “sea rabbit”!

Guess what? We have quite the nudibranch club with around 3,000 unique species known so far. Each one seems to outshine the other with its own flair and personality.

Curious about their name origin? Well, “nudibranch” is a delightful blend of the Latin word “nudus,” meaning “naked,” and the Ancient Greek word “bránkhia,” referring to their cute little gills.

So, next time you catch a glimpse of these splendid sea creatures, remember their fascinating journey from being shell-less wonders to the crowned jewels of the ocean floor!

Here are 5 fun facts about “Nudis” to get you all excited for your next dive!

1. Nudibranchs are like underwater fashionistas

Step into the mesmerizing world of nudibranchs, where tiny sea creatures undergo a remarkable transformation! During their larval phase, these adorable marine mollusks bid farewell to their shells, embracing a newfound sense of freedom.

Sporting the most eye-catching and vivid colors you’ve ever seen! It’s not just for show though; these vibrant hues serve a vital purpose. They’re nature’s warning signs, cautioning potential predators to think twice before taking a bite.

How do they do it? Well, nudibranchs have a secret weapon – toxins and nasty chemicals stashed away in their colorful outfits! It’s like a “taste me at your own risk” signal that keeps them safe and sound in the vast ocean.

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2. Nudibranchs have an adorable pair of tentacles called “rhinophores.”

These special tentacles, perched on their cute little heads, are like nature’s scent detectives. With their scent receptors, nudibranchs can sniff out yummy food or even detect other nudibranchs nearby.

But hey, life in the ocean isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Hungry fish are always on the lookout for a tasty treat, and those rhinophores can be like a bullseye for them. So, nudibranchs have a clever defense mechanism – they can quickly tuck those rhinophores away into a hidden pocket in their skin when danger lurks.

Imagine having a secret retractable nose! It’s just one more reason these colorful critters are so amazing. Nature’s creativity knows no bounds, and nudibranchs are here to show us how they roll in the big blue playground!

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3. These adorable sea creatures have quite the unique love story going on

You see, nudibranchs are true hermaphrodites, and that means they’ve got both male and female reproductive organs! But here’s the kicker – nudibranchs are not the speediest swimmers in the ocean. So, they’ve adapted a rather convenient way to handle their love life. Whenever they happen to cross paths with another nudibranch, it’s like instant romance!

Their slow pace makes it necessary to be ready for reproduction at any moment, and they can effortlessly switch roles from being the male to the female in the blink of an eye. It’s like they’re always prepared for a little underwater dance of love!

Nature sure knows how to create fascinating creatures with fascinating solutions for life’s challenges. So, next time you spot these charming nudibranchs, remember they’re masters of love, ready to embrace any romantic encounter that comes their way!

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4. These little ocean wonders have found a way to harness the power of the sun by indulging in a special diet – coral!

Here’s how it works: the corals they munch on are teeming with algae. When these slugs eat the corals, they absorb the algae’s chloroplasts, which are like tiny green powerhouses. Now, get this – the slugs can actually perform photosynthesis just like plants do!

It’s like they’ve become mini solar panels, converting sunlight into precious nutrients that fuel their survival. With this incredible adaptation, these slugs can go on for several months without needing to eat anything else!

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5. Radula that works just like a toothed tongue!

Nudibranchs use this cool structure to scrape off scrumptious meals from the rocks they call home. Some take things up a notch by predigesting their prey’s tissues with special enzymes and then sucking out the goodness. Now, what’s on their menu? These carnivorous cuties have quite the diverse palate. From sponges and corals to anemones, barnacles, fish eggs, and even fellow nudibranchs, nothing seems to escape their voracious appetite.

But wait, here’s the twist – nudibranchs can be real foodies, too! Some have particular tastes and will stick to just one type of prey. It’s like they have their own gourmet preferences.

Oh, and those dazzling colors they wear like a fashion statement? They owe it all to the food they eat! These vibrant hues can serve as camouflage or even a warning sign to predators, telling them to beware of the hidden poison within.

It’s a gourmet feast and a colorful fashion show all rolled into one with these charismatic creatures of the sea! Nature sure knows how to surprise us with its little wonders, and nudibranchs are here to steal the spotlight!

Top favorite Ionian Sea Species

Marine Life

Top favourite Ionian Sea Species

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   16 July 2023

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The Ionian Sea and its extraordinary marine life if one of the reason why we decided to open our dive centre in this region. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover some of our favourite Ionian Sea species.

From vibrant fish to seafloor dwellers, let’s dive right in!

1. Colorful Mediterranean Parrotfish

One of the most striking creatures you’ll encounter in the Ionian Sea is the Mediterranean Parrotfish. With their vibrant colors and beak-like teeth these fish add a splash of brightness to the underwater landscape. Their incredible teeth are fused to their jawbone. When tested for fracture resistance, their teeth would beat gold, copper, and silver.

Keep an eye out for their playful behaviour and unique ability to change colors!

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2. Lovely Loggerhead Sea Turtles

The Ionian Sea is home to the majestic Loggerhead Sea Turtles, a true wonder to behold. These gentle giants navigate the waters, captivating divers with their peaceful presence. Swimming alongside these magnificent creatures is an inspiring experience you won’t soon forget.

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3. Camouflaged Scorpionfish

Prepare to be amazed by the camouflage skills of the Scorpionfish, a master of disguise in the Ionian Sea. These creatures blend seamlessly with their surroundings, making them quite a challenge to spot. Take your time and keep an eye to witness the hidden beauty of these unique fish.

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4. Psychedelic Cuttlefish

There is a population of cuttlefish in the Ionian Sea, a species characterized by its remarkable intelligence and psychedelic geometric displays. Watch as they change colors and patterns, showcasing their incredible communication skills. Observing these mystical creatures in their natural habitat is a true privilege.

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5. Playful Common Dolphins

While exploring the Ionian Sea, don’t be surprised if you encounter a pod of playful Common Dolphins. These intelligent and social mammals often delight divers with their acrobatic displays and curiosity. Swimming alongside these energetic creatures is an exhilarating experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

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As you can see, the Ionian Sea is teeming with an abundance of fascinating species, all of which contribute to the vibrant tapestry of marine life. Our planet is full of wonders, and exploring its depths and encountering these captivating creatures is a privilege we should never take for granted. Join us at PADI Scuba Turtles Dive Center to embark on an unforgettable journey, immersing yourself in the beauty of the Ionian Sea and its incredible species.

Start your adventure today and discover the Ionian sea species that await you beneath the surface! Book your dive experience now and dive into the magical world.

Discover the Best Waterfalls in the Peloponnese

Sightseeing

Exploring Nature’s Majesty: Discover the Best Waterfalls in the Peloponnese

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   7 June 2023

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Nestled amidst verdant forests and rugged mountains, these cascades provide a refreshing escape from the summer heat and offer a tranquil haven for adventure seekers. In this blog post, we will explore the five best waterfalls in the Peloponnese, highlighting their unique charm and irresistible allure.

Dive into the revitalizing waters of Messinia and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of waterfalls in Peloponnese.

1. Polilimnio Waterfalls

Located in Messinia, the Polilimnio Waterfalls are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This series of cascades is characterized by crystal-clear turquoise pools interconnected by small streams and lush vegetation. As you hike along the well-maintained paths, you’ll be rewarded with mesmerizing views and the opportunity to take a dip in the refreshing waters. Polilimnio’s natural beauty is unrivaled, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Peloponnese.

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2. Kalamaris Waterfalls

Situated near the village of Schinolakka in Messinia, Kalamaris Waterfalls showcase nature’s artistic prowess. These enchanting falls cascade down a rocky gorge, creating a symphony of gushing waters that reverberate through the surrounding landscapes. Adorned with vibrant flora and fauna, Kalamaris Waterfalls offer a magical setting for every visitor. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush greenery, and you’ll find yourself captivated by this hidden oasis.

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3. Neda Waterfalls

Close to the village of Figalia in western Messinia, we found this majestic waterfall that take its name from the nymph Neda, who was believed to bathe in its sacred waters. Surrounded by steep cliffs and dense vegetation, Neda Waterfalls provide a spellbinding spectacle as the water plunges into a serene pool below. Hiking through the verdant gorge, you’ll encounter breathtaking viewpoints, ancient ruins, and opportunities for invigorating swims in the refreshing waters.

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4. Nemouta Waterfalls

Located near the village of Nemouta in northwestern Peloponnese, the Nemouta Waterfalls will beckon you with their raw beauty. Surrounded by a captivating landscape of towering cliffs and dense vegetation, these waterfalls offer a true escape into nature’s embrace. Embark on a scenic hike through the surrounding forests, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the cascades, their waters tumbling into clear pools below. Nemouta Waterfalls promise a rejuvenating experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s power.

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5. Valtas Waterfall

Located near Lagouvardos Beach, Valtas’s waterfall is a nature wonder. The soothing sound of water, coupled with the lush surroundings, creates a magical ambiance that will transport you to a world of tranquility. It is a peaceful retreat for nature lovers. However, please note that during certain periods, there may be a limited or no water flow. It’s always a good idea to check the latest Google Maps reviews in case someone has recently posted about the current conditions.

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The Peloponnese region of Greece is blessed with a remarkable array of waterfalls that showcase the beauty and majesty of the area.

5 Reasons Why you Should do Scuba Diving in Messinia

Scuba Diving

5 Reasons Why you Should do Scuba Diving in Messinia

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   28 May 2023

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Welcome to Messinia, a gorgeous destination located in the heart of the Peloponnese region of Greece. This picturesque region is known for its history, landscapes, and ancient ruins, but it also offers underwater wonders to divers. Let us guide you through the enchanting world of diving in Messinia.

Unveiling the Underwater Secrets.

1. Vibrant Marine Life

Dive into the vibrant underwater world of the Ionian Sea and discover a variety of marine life like no other. From schools of fish to unique and fascinating creatures like octopuses, moray eels, sea turtles, rays and seahorses, every dive brings an unexpected surprise. Embark on an underwater journey and discover nature’s wonders beneath the waves.

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2. Spectacular Dive Sites

Divers of all levels can enjoy the amazing dive sites off Messinia’s coasts. From easy shore dives to thrilling cave explorations, the region offers a diverse range of underwater landscapes to explore. For example, on Proti Island you can explore more than fifteen dive sites where you will discover wrecks, caves and colorful walls. Not far from there, you will find Navarino protected underwater park. This park is famous for the array of ancient artifacts and wrecks that hold its waters.

Don’t miss the chance to dive into legendary underwater caves and ancient shipwrecks that hold stories of the past.

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3. Pristine Waters and Visibility

Experience unparalleled clarity as you plunge into the pristine waters of Messinia. With excellent visibility that often exceeds 30 meters, divers are treated to awe-inspiring views of underwater rock formations, sea grass meadows, vibrant sponges, and thriving marine ecosystems.

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4. Dive Training and Certification

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a novice looking to embark on your first underwater adventure, Messinia offers a range of dive centers and schools that provide professional training and certification. Dive instructors with extensive knowledge of the local marine life and dive sites ensure a safe and unforgettable experience.

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5. Conservation Efforts

Messinia is dedicated to preserving its marine ecosystem and promoting sustainable diving practices. Several initiatives and organizations work tirelessly to protect the underwater habitats, ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at the region’s natural beauty.

If you want to volunteer or donate to protect the sea turtles in the area, please visit Archelon site.

Embarking on a diving journey in the Ionian sea promises an unforgettable experience for both seasoned divers and beginners alike. The region’s vibrant marine life, spectacular dive sites, pristine waters, and commitment to conservation create an ideal environment for exploration and appreciation of the underwater world. Whether you’re fascinated by ancient shipwrecks, intrigued by the diversity of marine species, or simply seeking tranquility beneath the waves, Messinia offers it all.

Diving in Messinia is a gateway to an underwater paradise where adventure and serenity coexist. Join us at our dive center and jump on an underwater adventure like no other. Let us guide you through the wonders of this captivating region, where the magic of the sea awaits your exploration.

Five traditional Peloponnesian dishes you need to try

Gastronomy

Five traditional Peloponnesian dishes you need to try

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   13 May 2023

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The Peloponnese is known for being a diverse and historically rich destination, full of historic sites and breathtaking scenery. Gastronomy is also a big chapter with many Peloponnesian dishes you shouldn’t miss.

This is an especially fertile land, well known for its generous yields of innumerable goods. It’s a food paradise, particularly if you adore extra-virgin olive oil, honey and seasonal products like citrus fruit, tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes or watermelons.

Food is one of the most essential parts of traveling and exploring new cultures. Let us introduce you to our favorite dishes which you should not miss during your visit of the Peloponnese.

1. Gourounopoula

Traditional Messinian delicacy gournopoula or gourounopoula is especially popular in Kalamata. The dish consists of a spit-roasted piglet. The piglet is placed on a spit, and a mixture of salt and oregano is sprinkled on its belly. This method of cooking makes the meat more mellow, tender, and juicy, as the heat breaks down the fat and tissues. Ten hours of high heat also cause the skin to caramelize and become crispy, adding a depth of flavor to the meat.

The dish dates back to the times of Turkish occupation. Due to religion, the Turks will not eat pigs. This led to a huge population increase, which caused them to become a major source of food for people in the region. As a result, pork dishes became a staple of local cuisine.

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2. Hylopites

These small, square-cut handmade pastas are a popular local product in the Peloponnese, also known by the regional name of τουτουμάκια (toutoumákia). Made with eggs, milk and whole-wheat flour, hylopites are a dried pasta. The pasta is traditionally made by rolling the dough out into a thin sheet, dusting with flour, and slicing twice: first into thin strips, then into small squares.

Typically, in village kitchens, they are served boiled, topped with olive oil and Myzithra, a cheese made by combining goat’s or sheep’s milk with whey. Hylopites are also used in soup and stew recipes, like chicken pasta soups and baked chicken with red sauce.

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3. Kagianas

The flavorful Greek version of scrambled eggs is made with plenty of grated fresh tomatoes, and it has several variations, including versions with added cheese or syglino (cured meat). The tomatoes add a fresh, acidic flavor to the eggs and balance out the saltiness of the syglino or cheese. The texture of the eggs is also improved by the addition of tomatoes, as they help create a light, fluffy consistency.

In the Peloponnese, where it is particularly common, it’s known as kagianas, from the Turkish word “kaygana” which derives from the Persian word خاگینه khâgine, which means omelet. In the rest of the country, it’s typically called “strapatsada,” which stems from the Italian strapazzare, meaning scrambled.

It is usually served as a side dish or an appetizer and is ideal to accompany grilled meat dishes. It is also eaten at breakfast.

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4. Petoules

Petoules are Greek fluffy pancakes that originate in Messinia and are found in many villages under different names (lalaggides, lalaggia, lalaggopsomata, plakotiganites, koutalides, tiganites or psomakia). They differ slightly in size or shape, but their common element is that every family cooks them with freshly harvested olive oil. Making the dough is very simple, since only a few ingredients are required: a mix of flour, milk, butter, eggs, baking powder, and salt. Remember the most critical ingredient… love! After both sides are golden brown, they’re served as salty snacks, usually topped with cheese and honey.

Traditionally, Petoules were baked over a fire on the Sunday preceding Ash Monday.

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5. Diples

This delicious dessert consists of spirals of thinly rolled-out dough, fried and topped with syrup flavored with honey, orange, cinnamon and chopped nuts.

The word Diples comes from the Greek word “diplono” (δι-πλώ-νω) which means folding. They are named this way because the dough is folded while it is fried.

The tradition of giving Diples at weddings is said to have originated in the Peloponnese. In those days, it was believed that the more folds in the Diples, the more luck and blessings the newlyweds would receive. The tradition has been passed down through generations and is still practiced in Greece today. You’ll also find them in bakeries and pastry shops all around the country.

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Hopefully, you will have the chance to taste the delights of Peloponnesian dishes. If you would like to learn more about the Messinia Region click here or visit Messinia mobi.

The most threatened species in the Mediterranean Sea

Marine Life

The most threatened species in the Mediterranean Sea

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   31 March 2023

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Although the Mediterranean Sea is an orchard ecosystem with about 7% of the world’s fish species and the world’s second largest biodiversity, the number of threatened species is constantly increasing. In accordance with Maritime Crimes “More than 8% of Mediterranean fish species are affected”.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature have developed a list of endangered species. The Mediterranean Red List is managed by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation. Nearly 700 scientists from across the region have contributed to the Mediterranean Red List of Species.

This Red List points that there are 14 species critically endangered. Let us show you some of them.

1. Sharks

Six shark species are on the Red List, making them one of the most threatened. Annually, the region catches 1.5 million tons of fish for international trade. These activities have resulted in the destruction of reef systems and the depletion of essential fish stocks. Therefore, to protect the important role that sharks play in the Mediterranean ecosystem, drastic measures must be taken to reduce commercial fishing and prevent the destruction of their habitats.

The critically endangered list include: three different types of Angel Shark, Sand Tiger Shark, Great Hammerhead and School shark. Read more on ocean conservation and shark protection in Greece here.

2. Rays

For rays, the biggest threat is also the fishing industry. Six species were red-listed between 2015 and 2020, and the population continues to decline. Two types of Eagle Rays (Common and Duckbill), Maltese Ray, Lusitanian Cownose Ray and two types of Guitarfish are now in the critical endangered category.

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3. Sea Turtles

Over the past decade, sea turtles have been protected, and some have shifted from endangered to vulnerable. The Hawksbill turtle was not that lucky and is on the list of species in critical danger of extinction. A few of the biggest threats are tourism, aquaculture, and oil drilling.

If you wish to know how you could help protect this species in Greece, visit this Archelon page they need any help they can get.

4. Sturgeon

This species is known to be the offspring of earlier acipenseriform fish, which date from the early Jurassic period. Being aware of this fact, it is really sad to learn that there are four different species of sturgeon on the EC List: Ship Sturgeon, Stellate Sturgeon, Adriatic Sturgeon and Russian Sturgeon. Besides the other threats, we also encounter alteration of the natural system such as dams and other problematic diseases that have emerged over the past years.

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There is a lot of work to be done to protect our oceans, and all we need to do is learn about them. We need more legislation and protected areas to recover species at risk. It is up to us to help our sea get back on its feet. If you would like to find out more about the Mediterranean Sea and its species, we have the right course for you here.

How Scuba Diving may improve your health

Scuba Diving

How Scuba Diving may improve your health

Written by Scuba Turtles   |   12 February 2023

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There are numerous reasons why people enjoy this sport, from discovering the unknown and admiring magnificent aquatic wildlife to making new friends and creating memories that will last a lifetime. But what happens if we told you that scuba diving is indeed beneficial for your health?

If you’re wondering whether you should start a sport or remain sedentary, let us convince you why you should try scuba diving and how you will benefit from it.

1. Decreases blood pressure and enhances blood circulation

When we spend time underwater, our body try to get used and adapt to the gradient pressure. Each one of your muscles require more oxygen to perform normally, so your blood vessels dilate to allow this. Furthermore, our bodies adapt to this pressure by slowing down our breathing in order to reduce air consumption, and this has been shown to help by lowering our blood pressure. A good diver must breathe deeply and slowly and several studies now presume that regular divers are less inclined to suffer from a heart attack or stroke.

2. Boost your bone health

Diving generally requires being outdoors and exposed to sunlight. Fortunately, the sun is the body’s primary source of Vitamin D. This Vitamin is essential for our health, but getting enough of it from food can be difficult. Therefore, getting enough vitamin D increases the body’s calcium intake, which is necessary for healthy bones and teeth.

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3. Improves your fitness and flexibility

Can it be a better sport than the one that gets you in shape with a relaxing workout? As you effortlessly float underwater, the movements you make put all your muscles to work against the water’s resistance.This motion increases the heart rate, invigorates muscles and builds stamina and strength. Furthermore, underwater activity is easier for joints and ligaments as well.

Learning how to dive and relax the body and mind enables your muscles to ease and thereby increase your flexibility.

4. Lowers stress levels and strengthen mental health

As previously mentioned, breathing control and diving are a whole. Some may call diving a form of meditation. Meditation, like diving, is well known for the relaxed mental status that can provide. Helps ease stress levels, control anxiety, reduce age-related memory loss, combat addictions and promote emotional health and self-consciousness.

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Ready to discover the health benefits of scuba diving by yourself? Go ahead and sign up for a course at Scuba Turtles and start learning today with PADI eLearning.