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Curium beach poo could be from turtles

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Curium beach poo could be from turtles

Postby Gasman » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:30 pm

BRITISH BASES SBA authorities are carrying out more tests on the mysterious ‘poo-like’ substance on Curium beach yesterday, although they can already confirm that it is not human waste and not harmful.

James Mansell, SBA spokesman, said yesterday that they have not issued a warning against visiting the beach, and that local laboratories are still testing the waste material, which the SBA authorities believe is from turtles.

One resident who visited the beach on Monday said that the amount of waste, which looked human waste but with a green colour and a squishy texture, had increased in recent weeks.

Tony from Limassol said: “We went [on Monday] and between Chris Blue and Sunshine beaches it was horrendous. One restaurant owner had assigned three of his workers to clear the waste into bin bags.”

The origin of the waste remains unknown, although SBA authorities have confirmed that there are no leaks in local sewage treatment works.

Asked about the material, SBA administrative secretary James Gondelle said “It does not represent a health hazard. Furthermore, despite appearance, we are confident that this is not human waste, and very strong circumstantial evidence indicates that it is in fact from turtles.”

They have also ruled out the possibility that the waste had come from a passing ship, as onboard sewage treatment facilities transform human waste into small dust-sized particles before they can be release from a ship.

According to Tony, the material has had a devastating impact on the number of visitors to the beach since it was discovered in mid May. He noted that the beach was packed at the same time last year; now it is all but empty. “Yesterday I saw a mother with her toddler on the beach, and when I pointed out the waste she picked up her child and left straight away.”

A similar incident did in fact occur last year when poo-like material on SBA beaches was reported to authorities. In response, all British forces facilities were checked to ensure there were no leaks, facilities in local villages were inspected, and ships entering Limassol were checked to ensure they had not been illegally discharging at sea.

“Nothing untoward was discovered.” said Gondelle, adding that “The Cyprus Tourism Organisation conducted samples of the water at Curium and these established that there was no hazard to health. Most reassuringly perhaps, further laboratory tests in Nicosia indicated that the matter was not in fact human. Based on similar experiences in Hawaii, speculation at the time suggested it was from turtles.”

The SBA environmental team has also conducted its own tests, which support the theory that this is turtle-poo, since the material is composed entirely of vegetable matter, contains organisms not found in mammals and has only appeared during the turtle breeding season.

Gondelle said “This... lends credibility, however incredible it may sound, to the notion that this is indeed from turtles. Scientific investigations will continue and we will ensure that the results are publicised as soon as they are known.”
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