The main aim of the project "Ecosystem-Based Approach to the Conservation of Biodiversity in the National Marine Park of Alonissos, Northern Sporades (NMPANS)' is to further promote conservation of the biodiversity in the area of the National Marine Park of Alonissos, Northern Sporades through a coordinated multi-disciplinary effort to research many interacting ecosystem components and in order to identify future management priorities.
This will be accomplished by achieving the following objectives:
Established in 1992, the National Marine Park of Alonissos, Northern Sporades (NMPANS), is Greece’s first marine park and one of Europe’s largest marine protected areas, with a size of approximately 2,200 square km. Located within the Park is the inhabited island of Alonissos; to the northeast of Alonissos lies a complex of uninhabited islands that provide refuge to many rare species of flora and fauna both marine and terrestrial.
Since its establishment, various research efforts have been carried out in the NMPANS targeting a wide range of factors. However most of these have been sporadic and uncoordinated. Furthermore, regular monitoring of factors other than the monk seal population is not currently happening in the protected area.
Despite its protected status, this lack of monitoring and enforcement in the NMPANS area has allowed certain uncontrolled human activities and illegal fishing to continue in the area. This in combination with the lack of data (despite its protected status) poses a problem and creates gaps in our knowledge of the area and hampers our ability to formulate a solid conservation management plan.
Thalassa Foundation supports a project that constitutes a great opportunity for a coordinated multi-disciplinary effort to research many interacting ecosystem components in order to identify areas of special interest or vulnerability within the NMPANS area.