Eco-Navigation is a key action developed by Archipelagos Institute, aiming to increase awareness but also public engagement on the biodiversity and conservation of the Mediterranean Sea. Eco-Navigation aims to record valuable data, through reported sightings by sailors and sea enthusiasts on their observations of rare and protected animals such as marine mammals and turtles, or invasive species, jellyfish blooms or pollution incidents. This information that would have otherwise been missed, enables us to acquire extra data, coupling those gathered by our research teams, achieving through this citizen-science platform a more completed monitoring of the key species of interest that are monitored by Archipelagos Institute.
The work involves daily trips to selected ports of the east Aegean islands, to inform the sailors about the Eco-navigation project and ask for their contribution, through the reporting of their observations. Since the project began, we have informed 108 boats of the project from 20 different countries.
Out of the boats which have been interviewed to date, 85% were interested to become part of the Econavigation Project and agreed to report their sightings and observation. It was noted that the majority of the remaining 15% there was difficulty in communication due to language barrier issues. To overcome this problem, in the last week, we have successfully translated the Eco-Navigation leaflet into a further four languages. So now, on top of English, Spanish, French, German and Greek, we also have: Turkish, Dutch, Swiss and Italian. We hope in a more successful response rate now that sailors can more easily understand the aims of this endeavor.
So far the Econavigation Project has had an overwhelming response with sightings of marine mammals. The number of sightings per week fluctuates regularly with no current trend but it is vital for us to receive more information to piece together the migration pattern of the local mammals.
As well as this, any photos of mammals received are sent to the Archipelagos Photo Identification Team which analysed against a photo database, to establish if the mammal has appeared before in the area. With this information, we can determine where the animal has been and if there are any changes in its behaviour or appearance.
If you want to be part of the Eco-navigation Network, you can report your sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please report the following data: date, time, location (geographical coordinates if possible), type of observation (name of species or description and number of individuals). Photos are very important to be included.
Telephone: +30 227730-61191/-61147
Archipelagos Wildlife Emergency
+30 6974744949 (for emergencies only!)
Address: Archipelagos Institute of
Marine Conservation P.O. Box 42