Alien Species

alien
Alien species are the species who appear beyond the distribution range that have been historically reported. They may belong to different taxonomical groups, such as fish, crustaceans, algae, bacteria etc. The main proportion of alien species arriving in Greek waters originate from the Red Sea and are called Lessepsian migrants. This is in honor of Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French diplomat in charge of the Suez’s canal construction in 1869, through which the species manage to enter. Once they enter to Mediterranean many of them fail to survive in the new environment. However, the increase in the surface water temperature as a result of climate change, facilitates the acclimation and the successful spreading of some adaptable species to the new environment. In several cases they coexist harmoniously with native species. Although, some adapt more effectively to the new conditions than the native species, resulting in rapid spreading and increase in population numbers. The latter are called invasive species and have negative effects on a region’s economy, environment and/or public health. According to the Greek Institute of Marine Research and previous surveys performed in the Mediterranean Sea, they have been recorded more than 986 marine alien species, of which 237 occur in Greece. Nowadays, a number of International Conventions recognize the alterations that can occur to local ecosystems by the introduction of alien species, while the EU now includes the management of alien species in the strategic European policy objectives for aquatic ecosystems. In this context, iSea aims through its projects to improve the study of the distribution routes and the biology of alien species, and help in finding solutions to mitigate their impact on aquatic ecosystems in Greece.
You can help us collect more information on the distribution and the expansion of alien species in the Greek and Turkish seas, as well as in Eastern Mediterranean. iSea aims at undestand the pathways of expansion and the current distribution of the alien species in Greece and Turkey and wants your help.


Mediterranean Sea is facing a severe invasion. Several of the marine alien species are characterized as invasive, having negative effects on the local economy, environment and/or public health.  iSea is aiming to supplement the existing knowledge on the distribution and the expansion of alien species in the Greek and Turkish Seas. 

Send us your photos of alien species! If you are not sure if this is an alien species, send it to us! Do not forget to record the coordinates, the depth and the size and the date.

How to participate:
1. Become a group member in our Greek Facebook Group or the Turkish Facebook Group
2. Send us your observation via the Greek Observation Form or the Turkish Observation Form
3. Send your photos at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

With your help we have already more than 300 sightings of alien of rare species from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey!! Thank you!!!

Publications
1
.Marmara, D., Keramidas, I., Paravas, V., Giovos, I. (2017). The invasive Lionfish in Greece¨ Workshop on the Lionfish in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: New problems, new solutions: Distribution, Eradication & Utilization, Antalya, Turkey.

2.Giovos, I., Doumpas, N., Ioannou, I., Sarafidou, G., Marmara, D., Paravas, V, (2017). Is Alien to you...Share it!!! A Citizen Science Project on alien species in Greece. ESENIAS Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Collaborations

MER   logoUniTirana    Deniz Bilimleri ve Teknolojisi Fakültesi logo

Project manager:
Ioannis Giovos:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Informative Material
We have prepared informative material in Greek for 15 alien species. To receive the material, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

C.sapidusLOW
  PteroisLOW  L. sceleratusLOW