Eco-Navigation

A guide for sailors and sea enthusiasts to report their observations in a citizen science database.

Overview

Help us help the sea!

The Mediterranean Sea supports more than 7% of known global marine species. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean has managed to survive in these seas for thousands of years, in harmony with the communities that inhabited and developed along the Mediterranean coastline.

Within the last century, the strain that has been placed on marine life, due to pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing, is enormous. Species that have existed in these waters for thousands of years are being silently pushed into the abyss of extinction. However, monitoring the status of the Greek seas proves to be very challenging due to the evasive nature of the marine wildlife and the sheer size of the monitored area.

Eco-Navigation is a citizen-science platform that we have developed, and it allows Archipelagos to exchange information with sea enthusiasts from all over the world - from a wide range of backgrounds. We are looking to join forces to protect the rare wildlife of our seas from the increasing threats of human activity. Protecting our seas is a challenging endeavour which needs help from all those who care and that is what this project is truly about.

How can you help?

Archipelagos invites you to join ‘Eco-Navigation,’ platform where sea enthusiasts can report their observations from their time at sea. Through our Eco-Navigation programme, you can easily collaborate with expert scientists worldwide on marine research and conservation efforts - just by sending us some simple details.
Our mission is to conserve and defend the biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea. In order to Help us Help the Sea, all you have to do is read the information below and report your sightings of these animals to us!
The species of interest to us are as follows: (1) Marine Mammals, (2) Sea Turtles, (3) Sharks, (4) Jellyfish Blooms and (5) Invasive Species.

ENJOY OUR SEAS WITH RESPECT

 Maintain a safe distance from dolphins and whales to avoid causing disturbance

 Admire marine animals from a safe distance

 Target only fully matured fish when fishing

 Keep seas and coasts clean

 Collect any waste that you might find in the sea and coasts, where possible

 Don’t anchor in Posidonia seagrass meadows, as each anchor scar can take several decades to recover

 Don’t feed or harass marine animals Don’t approach or enter sea caves

 Don’t collect marine organisms (shells, sea stars) as souvenirs

Don’t conduct spear gun fishing at night or while scuba diving, as it is illegal. Report any incidents you notice

 

What are we doing?

 

Archipelagos researchers are often seen around Greece conducting Eco-Navigation surveys at ports and marinas, as we look to expand our database. This type of work is extremely useful because, firstly, we are able to gain a greater understanding of which species are appearing in certain areas of the sea, and secondly, it allows us to engage with a wide variety of different people to obtain primary research. During these surveys, a small team of ours will approach sailors and talk them through our program - many of whom have been really keen to get on board and provided us with some vital information further down the line. The most useful data for us to collect are the name of the species, the location in which it was found, the abundance of the animal - as there is a chance you could find more than one - and, of course, if you have taken any photos of the animal do feel free to send them to us as well. Images are really helpful for our research, more so with marine mammals, as our research team can have a closer look at them for photo identification of their dorsal fins.

Report a sighting or stranding:

Select one of the icons below to see all the species of the Aegean sea.

Invasive Species

Signs of Pollution & Other Unusual Sightings

Marine pollution includes a range of threats including oil spills, fertilizer runoff from farms and lawns, sewage disposals, toxic chemicals and seas of solid garbage. It threatens the health of the ocean and its living resources and results in huge damages to the marine environment.of many recreational divers.

Oil

Oil at sea is cause by tanker ship accidents and illegal disposal of oil waste and byproducts from cargo ships. It destroys the insulating and water repellency ability of fur-bearing mammals and birds leading to death due to hypothermia. Ingesting oil when animals and birds try to clean themselves can poison them. Additionally, Fish and shellfish experience reduced growth, enlarged livers, changes in heart and respiration rates, fin erosion, and reproduction impairment when exposed to oil.

Fertilizer runoff and sewage disposals

80% of urban sewage discharged into the Mediterranean Sea is untreated. These extra nutrients cause flourishing alga blooms that deplete the dissolved oxygen in the water and suffocate marine life, leading to enormous dead zones.

Toxic chemicals

Toxic pollution causes reductions in wildlife numbers, degrades ecosystem functions and threatens human health. Some of the known effects on marine animals include cancer, lesions, genetic and developmental deformities, behavior abnormalities, reproductive failures, and death.

Plastic waste

Plastic poses a grave threat to marine life for a number of reasons, including: entanglement, ingestion and choking. A shockingly large percentage of marine animals, including birds, have traces of plastic within their bodies causing mortalities.

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