Greetings to all from the eastern Aegean and Archipelagos’ marine conservation team. Today we have been circumnavigating the waters between Samos and the northern Dodecanese, a region where we are carrying out research on an almost daily basis for the last 17 years.

As of recent the eastern Aegean has been facing one of the most difficult eras as the waters surrounding this region have been increasingly crossed by many different types of naval ships from a variety of nationalities. As a result of this increase in maritime traffic, we have observed and recorded unusual marine mammal strandings, in addition to general changes in the behavior from certain marine species.

The peak of this situation was last Friday, when a Turkish navy ship was firing with live ammunition in Greek waters, off Farmakonisi island. This incident, apart from violating international conventions, also caused significant destruction to marine ecosystems. Firing happened in the waters where according to Greek and EU legislation, any explosion at sea from a citizen would be penalized with imprisonment and confiscating of the boat.