For the eighth consecutive year, we completed with full success the joint oceanographic survey that was carried out by a 50 – member group composed of academics and students from the department of Marine Geography at the University of Cardiff, as well as researchers from Archipelagos Institute.

Our goal is the collection of scientific data on the unique natural biodiversity of the Aegean Sea, which is a prerequisite for the implementation of conservation actions. This joint survey, is part of a compulsory module for the final year students of Marine Geography, for which they need to travel to the Aegean, to work in Archipelagos’ research bases.

Archipelagos has already launched for the next year corresponding actions in applied education in marine sciencies in collaboration with universities from Belgium, Britain and USA, following the signing of relevant MOUs.

This joint oceanographic research focused on the:

▪ mapping and imaging on the basis of visual and audio recording, the highly productive marine ecosystems in the coastal zone. These data are presented in detailed maps, which are a very valuable tool for the protection of these vitally important habitats.

▪ sampling seawater and sediment, which is analysed in Archipelagos’ labs to determine chemical characteristics, and also analyses in zooplankton and phytoplankton.

▪ assessment of the various types of coastal zone management and the impacts on natural habitats,

▪ underwater mapping of biodiversity through snorkelling visual census surveys.

▪ surveys of the marine mammal populations, which are under long-term monitoring by Archipelagos’ s marine research team.

This joint oceanographic research, which brings in Greece scientists and specialist expertise, is an effective tool for the protection of our seas, while providing a valuable field of applied education for young scientists from around the world.

We believe that this conservation tool, has enormous potential in Greece and could also be used by universities and research centers of our country.

Fundamentally our priorities remain the protection and truly sustainable use of the unique natural wealth of the Greek seas and islands, not through campaigns and philological approach to environmental issues, but through targeted actions and effective interventions.