VULNERABLE SPECIES

Biodiversity is fundamental for healthy ecosystems. The marine environment comprises about 90% of the habitable space on the planet and hosts most of the world's biodiversity. However, marine species are far less studied than terrestrial ones and their extinction rate is probably higher than can be estimated. In the Mediterranean, human activities in the coastal zone and unsustainable resource exploitation have led to habitat degradation and the collapse of the populations of many marine species as a result of other extractive human activities. More specifically, it is estimated that more than 1912 marine species are threatened with extinction, many of which are endemic. Limited knowledge of Mediterranean populations indicates that the problem is likely more acute, as 1/3 of marine species cannot be assessed due to insufficient data. According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, "Life on Water", sustainable management and protection measures for marine and coastal ecosystems must be taken for achieving the goal of healthy and productive oceans. But time is running out and the scenarios for the future are unfavorable. In this context, iSea aims to increase and disseminate existing knowledge about vulnerable species in order to enhance scientific-based management and ensure their conservation, protection, and restoration to the extent that they fulfill their ecological role in achieving healthy and functional ecosystems.


ON-GOING PROJECTS

R E P O S I D O N I A

The project on the protection and the study of Posidonia meadows using innovative awareness-raising tools.

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Thermaikos Dolphin Project

The project will consist of a systematic study on Thermaikos Gulf’s cetaceans as well as environmental education and sensitizing of the public about marine mammals and the marine environment.

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Updating the checklist of chondrichthyans of Greece

 

 

The aim of this project is to prepare a new and updated national checklist of chondrichthyans that will contain all the species found in the Greek seas.

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Strengthening Angel Shark Conservation in the Southern Aegean Sea

The aim of the project is to improve and strengthen the conservation of angel sharks in Greece, and to advance elasmobranch conservation in the country. Through this project further research will be conducted to support future conservation actions and policies

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Alliance for Survival II


The aim of the project is to study and mitigate the impacts of bycatch on the sea turtle, shark and ray populations in Greece, through awareness, capacity building and cooperation with stakeholders in the fisheries sector.

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Monitoring Threatened Elasmobranchs in South Aegean

iSea will collect the first non-fisheries dependent data in Greece from highly threatened elasmobranch species, investigate a potentially critical area for the selected species and learn more about their biology and ecology. It will also provide us with the baseline knowledge that will help us to develop an adequate management plan for the species populations in the area. In addition, the data will feed the efforts for the Sub Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Angel Sharks in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Global Action Plan for the Conservation of Rhino Rays and other relevant projects.

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By ElasmoCatch

iSea using the experience obtained in 2019 from the project “Monitoring Elasmobranch Fisheries and Trade in the North Aegean”, in 2020-2021 will focus its efforts on collecting information on the discarded elasmobranch species of the North Aegean fisheries metiers, complementing the previous work and the relevant bibliography from Greece.

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Angel Shark Project: Greece

The Angel Shark Project: Greece is a collaborative project led by iSea and supported by ULPGC, ZFMK, ZSL, and Shark Trust with an overall aim to investigate the importance of the Greek side of the Aegean Sea for all three angel shark species present in the Mediterranean

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PAST PROJECTS

Mediterranean Angel Sharks: SubRegional Action Plan (SubRAP) GSA 25 (Cyprus - Republic of Cyprus)

In the Mediterranean Sea, 3 species of angel sharks exist, their population has been classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, due to the severe decline in their population as well as to localized extinctions. Cyprus has been identified as priority region for angel sharks and therefore a Subregional Action Plan was developed.

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Mediterranean Angel Sharks: SubRegional Action Plan (SubRAP) GSAs 22/23 (Aegean Sea and Crete)

 In the Mediterranean Sea, 3 species of angel sharks exist, their population has been classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, due to the severe decline in their population as well as to localized extinctions. The Aegean Sea and Crete have been identified as priority regions for angel sharks and therefore a Subregional Action Plan was developed.

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Mediterranean Angel Sharks: Regional Action Plan

The Mediterranean is an extinction hotspot for chondricthyans (sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras), making the basin a priority for conservation. Of the 73 species of Mediterranean chondrichthyans assessed by IUCN, 50% of rays and 54% of sharks face an elevated risk of extinction, with angel sharks an example of one of the families where all species present in the region are threatened. The Mediterranean Angel Sharks: Regional Action Plan provides a framework for conservation action for angel sharks in the Mediterranean.

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HEXMED Project

SUBMON, in collaboration with iSea and a team of researchers from 11 Mediterranean countries, has set up a regional initiative to gather information on the population trend of the Shark-Shark Shark, based almost entirely on fishermen's knowledge.

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Elasmobranch fisheries and trade in North Aegean

Our work aims to monitor the landings and the marketed products of elasmobranchs in the four major ports of the North Aegean Sea, which is considered a hotspot for elasmobranchs in the Greek waters.

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Fishermen, Sea turtles and Sharks: Alliance for Survival 


The aim of the project is to study and mitigate the impacts of bycatch and ghostfishing on the sea turtle and shark populations in Greece, through awareness, capacity building and cooperation with stakeholders in the fisheries sector.

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Initiative knowledge empowerment to certified and sustainable fisheries

Fisheries certifications are a relatively new practice that is used as a protective management strategy for sustainable exploitation of fish stocks and natural resources, thus ensuring long-term access to fish for future generations. Essentially, the power is transferred to the consumer, when consumers choose certified products it encourages environmentally friendly practices that have minimal impact on marine ecosystems. Certified products are labelled with eco-labels (tags) on their packaging that indicates the product has been produced with good practices, while ensuring the consumer the origin of the product consumed.

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