Official Tourist Information Site
of Ravenna

CESTHA – Experimental Centre for Habitat Protection

Via Molo Dalmazia, 49 - Ravenna

CESTHA – EXPERIMENTAL CENTRE FOR HABITAT PROTECTION is a non-profit research institution created in 2014, aiming at protecting the environment through programmes for the conservation of endangered species and the promotion of activities of sustainable management. Since 2016, the centre has been housed in the historical premises of the former fish market in Marina di Ravenna.

National excellence in the field of marine conservation, the centre is coordinated by a team of researchers and natural science, marine biology and veterinary medicine specialists, and collaborates with CNR (the Italian National Research Council), the University of Bologna, the University of Padua and various other public and private research institutes.

Ravenna, CESTHA - Centro Sperimentale per la Tutela degli Habitat


Turtles, rays and also small sharks often get stuck in trawl fishing nets or get injured by propellers of motorboats and other boats, thus suffering from lung damages, infections or drowning. The main activity of CESTHA concerns the process of rescue, rehabilitation and release of the species that get accidentally caught during professional fishing activities.

CESTHA is one of Italy’s few centres to specialize in the care of elasmobranchi, namely rays, electric rays, some species of sharks, sawfish and common stingrays, which are commonly considered as dangerous to humans and therefore mistreated.

Ravenna, CESTHA - Centro Sperimentale per la Tutela degli Habitat

The staff of the centre carries out awareness-raising activities with schools and works on projects involving small and bigger fishing businesses, with the aim of supporting the conservation of marine resources and safeguarding the local economy based on fishing, thus combining the sustainability both of the environment and the economy of the territory.

Along with other institutions of the European Union, CESTHA is also partner of many European projects aiming at environmental protection, such as AdriEATic, raising awareness in consumers about what they eat; PRIZEFISH, contributing to make fishing in the Adriatic more sustainable; S.E.P.P.I.A. sustaining small fishing businesses; TARTALIFE, reducing accidental mortality of Caretta caretta turtles caused by professional fishing activities, and many more.




CESTHA is the main rehabilitation and treatment centre for sea turtles in the north of the Emilia-Romagna region, and is the reference point for the provinces of Ferrara and Ravenna. The centre also manages the first aid centre for sea turtles in Porto Garibaldi (FE), working as a day hospital for specimens needing to be moved to the main centre in Marina di Ravenna.

The staff supervises the interactions of sea turtles with professional fishing activities, rescuing, treating and rehabilitating sick or wounded ones. For the treatment of rescued specimens, CESTHA takes on innovative and cutting-edge approaches, for example through the experimentation of the integration of therapies based on natural active substances and traditional treatments or motor rehabilitation with the support of 3D printing.

CESTHA is the emergency contact for strandings of marine animals on the coast of Ravenna. In the event of findings, call the emergency number +39 351 8544072 (24h).

Further information

Opening times

You can visit CESTHA with special guided tours, usually organised in summer. You can also take part in boat trips to release treated turtles in the sea.

For more information, you can directly contact the centre (+39 351 8544072) or the Tourist Information Office (0544 35404).


CESTHA is accessible to people with physical disabilities.

How to get there

CESTHA is located near the port of Marina di Ravenna, about 13 km away from Ravenna.

By car: from Ravenna take via Trieste and SS 67 state road. Around the centre are various parking areas.

By bus: bus stop (route 70) about 200 metres away from the centre. For more information:

A cura della Redazione Locale

Last edit:15 May 2024

You may also like: