Seagrass meadows in Samaria National Park / Image by Markos Digenis - terraSolutions m.e.r.

The seagrass meadows of Samaria Nationa Park

Seagrass meadows are ecosystem engineering species on wave sheltered areas of soft seabed and have an important function as a three-dimensional habitat for many species , including as nursery areas for numerous fish and invertebrate species. They are highly productive and host high biodiversity, including several associated faunal groups. They provide many ecosystem services, including reducing coastal erosion and storing large amounts of carbon. Samaria National Park host among the most important meadows in the South Coastal Zone of Crete. The activities foreseen in the project includes:

  • the collection of data regarding the assembly of the seagrass meadows in the bathymetric distribution 0-45m using scientific diving protocols and non destructive methodology

  • the collection of data regarding the recorded pressures and the hypotesized causes.

  • the collection of data regarding the pressures of local origin such as fishing impacts and suggestions for their mitigation

  • the collection of data regarding pressures related to climate change

All that aiming at the support of the management plan related to the coastal seascape of the National Park.

Funding: N.E.C.C.A.

Degraded seagrass meadow in Amorgos / Image by Dimitris Poursanidis - terraSolutions m.e.r.

Base line study for fisheries management of coastal areas based on local ecological knowledge (LEK) in Amorgos island

Amorgos is a small island (126 km2) with 2000 inhabitants. It is the easternmost island of the Cyclades and mainly consists of big mountains and rocky terrain while the stepping landscape is continuing in the underwater seascapes with large deths and slopes close to the coastal areas.

Fishing has always been a significant part of life on the island. The professional fishing association of Amorgos was founded in 2003. It’s goal was to face common problems and represent the fishermen requests to the authorities. The last decade the association had to address new problems such as overfishing, pollution and the protection of the traditional fishing boats (Kaikis).

In the Aegean Sea there is the problem of overfishing. Fishermen were the first to recognize the problem and are now looking for a solution. The Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos presented a concept years ago to the Ministry of Rural Development in Greece to mitigate the effects of both overfishing and pollution requesting the creation of three Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the coastline of the island of Amorgos (no-take zones).

The Cyclades Preservation Fund in collaboration with the Blue Marine Foundation support that fascinating project, first of its kind in Greece!

The Laboratory of Applied Hydrobiology of the Agricultural University of Athens, Assistant Professor Stefanos Kalogirou in partnership with terraSolutions marine environment research run the scientifict investigation for the establishment of the No Take Zone (Fisheries Restricted Areas) at a twofold approach: 1) Collection of baseline fisheries data using the LEK approach among other establised protocosl and 2) Collect of baseline data regarding the health status of the ecosystems of the project area.

The project has a 12 month duration.

Funding: Blue Marine Foundation