Prioritising Posidonia oceanica meadows in the Ionian Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posidonia meadows are the most iconic and one of the most productive marine habitats of the overfished and degraded Mediterranean basin. The Eastern Ionian Sea presents a narrow continental shelf with steep reliefs that largely account for deep and oligotrophic coastal water masses, while large river outflows are relatively limited and locally restricted in this marine area, which is therefore generally characterised by exceptional water transparency. This allows the meadows of the Ionian Sea to reach deeper, while in general, their shoot density is higher than elsewhere in Greece. According to Natura 2000, after the North Aegean Sea, the Eastern Ionian Sea is the area with the most extended meadows (903 km2), however, in several areas the habitat is still poorly documented, especially inside the Natura 2000 sites and especially inside the Natura 2000 sites.

At the same time, the Eastern Ionian Sea is characterised by high touristic pressure, particularly concerning boat tourism, being among the most popular locations in the Mediterranean for sailing. The vast number of boats has a dramatic impact on the meadows while a variety of other anthropogenic activities leave their mark on their distribution and health, including fish farming, illegal fishing, poor sewage treatment, and mining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the context of this project, iSea aimed to improve the data availability and quality for the distribution of Posidonia meadows in the Ionian islands and prioritise areas that require immediate intervention to enhance the conservation of Posidonia oceanica. In particular, the following actions were completed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future steps

This preliminary work gave us the opportunity to identify the pressures to the Posidonia meadows in the Ionian Sea and the knowledge gaps regarding the cartography, pressures and monitoring. To ensure the protection of P. oceanica meadows in the Ionian Sea, three priority actions have been identified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project's team:
Roxani Naasan Aga – Spyridopoulou

Roxani Naasan Aga – Spyridopoulou

Roxani is an environmentalist, she holds a bachelor’s in Marine sciences from the University of Aegean. In 2019, she started working on projects for the “Aquatic Litter” and the “Vulnerable Species” departments. Currently, she is working as a Project Manager for projects regarding “Vulnerable Species” and “Human and Aquatic Ecosystems”.

Her main research interests are related to elasmobranch ecology and biology, fisheries biology, and marine protected areas. She holds a speedboat licence, and a diving licence and is multilingual (Greek, Arabic, English, and French). She knows how to code in R. She is a qualified user of ArcGIS and SNAP(ESA). Furthermore, she knows how to use software for ecological data (Vissim, Populus, Primer, Presence, Distance).

Before this, she used to work with humanitarian NGOs for refugees in Greece as a cultural mediator and interpreter.

 

Contact Info:

Email: [email protected] 

tel. +302313090696

mob. +306944505224 

Kyriaki Pyloridou

Kyriaki Pyloridou

Kyriaki was born in 1999 in Thessaloniki. She has a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Oceanography and Marine Sciences, from the University of the Aegean. She speaks three languages: Greek (native), English (B2) and Chinese (beginner). She’s familiar with Microsoft Office applications, ArcGIS, R and she’s a certified PADI Open Water Diver. She conducted her internship at iSea in the summer of 2021, in the “Vulnerable Species” pillar and more specifically in the project “Sharks and Rays in Greece and Cyprus”. She’s working as an Assistant Project Manager. 

 

Contact Information:

Email: [email protected]

Tel. +302313090696

Ilektra Athinaiou

Ilektra Athinaiou

Ilektra was born in 1998, she is from Nafplio and has completed her bachelor’s in Marine and Freshwater Biology at Edinburgh Napier University, while she recently graduated from her master’s degree in Marine Conservation from the University of Plymouth. Academically, she has focused on a range of topics and has completed her dissertation on elasmobranch trade in Greece in collaboration with iSea, while for her MSc thesis, she worked on shark and ray stock assessment approaches with Blue Resources Trust. She was previously involved with Archelon working first as a monitoring coordinator in Zakynthos and later as a project assistant in the Peloponnese. She volunteered with the Argolic Environment Foundation as a local admin and has participated as a diver in the cleanups of two “Prosfero” projects with iSea. She has knowledge on R, QGIS, adobe premiere and Wix, while she is a certified PADI Open Water Diver and BLS first aid responder and holds a drone license (A1/A3).

She has a range of interests, including blue carbon ecosystems, elasmobranchs, genetics and using technology for research. She speaks 3 languages: Greek (native), English (native) and basic Dutch. Within iSea she works as a Project Manager in the Vulnerable Species Pillar.

Contact Information:

Email: [email protected]

Phone number: +30 2313 090696

Collaborators:

 

Funders: