Environmental Hotspots

Modern facilies for the study and protection of marine mammals

The Mediterranean Sea is the home of unique marine life. A remarkable variety of fauna and flora can be observed in the Greek waters. Among them a number of rare marine species like common dolphins, monk seals and sperm whales are threatened with extinction. Despite the extremely high value of our sea life only 2% or less of local marine areas are protected. It is urgent that we act against such an unprecedented loss of biodiversity. The aim of this initiative is the study, and protection of rare marine species so as to enhance their chances of survival before they have vanished once and for all.

NAUTILUS

Study and Protection of Marine Mammals

PROJECT OVERVIEW

  • Location : Alonissos, Sporades
  • Status : Land acquisition [phase I]
  • Focus Sector : Marine Life Conservation, Research & Education
  • Description : Creation of a state of the art environmental centre under the name “Nautilus” for the protection of the monk seal, which will also suggest a point of reference for the study of marine mammals in Greece and the Mediterranean in general.
  • Beneficiaries : Local community, environmental associations and institutes, researchers, academics and students.
  • Implementing Partners : The Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal
  • Implementation Period : 2016 -
  • Estimated Budget : approx. 1.700.000 €

Alonissos is a small island in Northern Sporades, Aegean, where MOm a Greek not for profit orgnization founded in 1988, undertakes considerable action for the protection of the Mediterranean monk seal, an endangered species according to the IUCN. Thalassa Foundation has already allowed MOm a large area of 850m2 for the construction of  “Nautilus”, a centre for the study and protection of endangered marine species, located only 3km away from the port of the island. Thalassa undertakes this ambitious project in order to promote marine life protection and environmental education and sensitization activities that will have a positive impact on the local community and will expose a large number of visitors to marine conservation, not to mention researchers, students and academic institutes all over the world.

Nautilus Environmental Center will provide:

  • Treatment, rehabilitation and hosting of monk seals
  • Mobile first aid rescue unit for sick or wounded animals
  • A national reference and resource centre for marine mammals
  • An exhibition centre on the marine environment for information and recreation activities, equipped with digital technology
  • A conference room for educational purposes and events
  • A fully equipped laboratory that will cover the center’s research and educational purposes

Nautilus establishments are expected to host numerous educational and research activities such as:

  • Systematic environmental and conversation training activities, summer schools and visits, various campaigns and events. Graduate and postgraduate academic conservation programs in collaboration with foreign universities. Exchange of foreign students and interaction with members of the scientific society worldwide. Organization of lectures by guest scientists and presentation of various research projects and seminars.
  • Realization of placements and marine-science field courses. Foreign students will be able to fulfill workshops in Greece in order to raise credits towards their degree. Also, field trips for educational purposes can be arranged.
  • Scientific expeditions and ecotourism activities will be offered: Outdoor activities, habitats restoration concepts, scientific diving and marine conservation excursions will support the long-term viability of the project.

PROJECT STATUS

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