Armeñime is a small village in the south of Tenerife, located in Costa Adeje.
Did you know that Armeñime means “meeting place” in the Guanche language?
Precisely it was the favourite meeting place for turtles years ago, known as Puertito de Adeje and even as the turtle cove, but the reality is that nowadays in 2020 there are no more turtles in Armeñime.
🐢 Discover the best place to snorkel with turtles in Tenerife.
Why are there no more turtles in Armeñime? A tragic story
The trigger happened in 2016, when the green turtle “Legends” was found dead in an illegal nasa in the area.
A nasa is a fishing net, designed to trap marine animals in a tank from which it is impossible for them to escape.
This is the deceased Legends turtle, trapped in the illegal fishing net in Armeñime. An unpleasant image, but it is necessary to show it to raise awareness so that it does not happen again.
Turtles migrate from far away places and live most of their lives travelling the ocean, but they also spend some seasons in the coastal waters of Tenerife, where Armeñime and Puertito de Adeje was one of their favourite places.
Although the green turtle inhabits the waters off the Canary coast for a while, they then migrate to other places. The problem was that the illegal feeding of the turtles caused them to overstay their welcome.
This led to the formation of a colony of green turtles that ended up as a tourist attraction (the turtle cove), where the constant contact with humans ended up damaging them irreversibly. Not only because some people fed them when they swam with them, but also because of illegal fishing activities, the harassment of jet skis in the area, the dumping of plastics and rubbish?
When the Legends turtle was found dead in Armeñime, the social networks went up in flames because of the poor conservation management of the public bodies responsible for the protection of the Canary Islands’ marine fauna.
Faced with a barrage of criticism, it was decided to transfer the remaining turtles in Armeñime to the island of La Gomera, where they would have a quieter life and could recover from human activity.
It is clear that the turtles still have a special affection for Tenerife, because in spite of everything they returned to the south of the island, but this time to the Arenita beach, the place in Tenerife where you can snorkel with turtles.
But we don’t want the turtles to disappear like they did in Armeñime, do we? That’s why it is of vital importance that you respect and take care of them in their habitat.
If you want to dive or snorkel with turtles it is best to be in good hands.
Can you see turtles in Puertito de Adeje in 2021?
The truth is that you can be lucky enough to see turtles all over the island of Tenerife, but Puertito de Adeje in Armeñime is no longer a place where they live concentrated in groups as it was years ago.
Here you can see some old photos taken of the green turtles that used to live in the cove.
Even so, if you visit Armeñime beach and the famous turtle cove, don’t forget your diving goggles – you never know!
You know, preserving turtles and their habitat is easy. You just have to follow the 3 R’s rule: respect, respect and respect 🙂 .
Remember that sea turtles are included in the Canary Islands Catalogue of Protected Species (Law 4/2010, 4th June), as SPECIES OF SPECIAL PROTECTION, as well as being protected by other international conventions.