1. Fishery Observatory - Action against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Activity
With the aim of combating IUU fisheries in the Greek seas, Archipelagos has formed a network of local communities and fishermen who provide valuable, confidential information about IUU activities in their area. These data are verified by competent scientists and authorities. Reports are later compiled and sent to the relevant Greek and EU authorities.
Any information we receive concerning incidents of destructive or illegal fishing is checked for its validity as well as for the type and magnitude of the problem. When necessary, Archipelagos will make use of all available legal means while also informing national and EU authorities, particularly in the case of destructive fishing practices that lead to severe environmental impacts. There is sometimes a reluctance to report such activities, especially if they occur in a small community, so it is important to note that during all stages of this process we keep the source of our information confidential.
This increased community engagement shows a developing sense of responsibility for the health of the seas and fish stocks, and is requisite for the sustainable use of marine resources to ensure viable fisheries for the future.
We need YOUR help!
Destructive and illegal fisheries can no longer be tolerated. Their actions constitute the theft of common resources from both local communities and future generations. These practices cause honest, sustainable fishermen to go out of business, dolphins and seals to starve, certain fish stocks to approach the risk of collapse, and consumers to soon find it too expensive to affort local and sustainable fish products.
What to report?
- Trawlers fishing illegally close to the shore
- Dynamite fishing
- Spear gun and scuba gear (including during the night using lights)
- Illegal fishing practices by vessels from other countries
- Selling protected and undersized species, as well as selling fish from recreational/spear gun fisheries for consumption.
Don’t ignore it, report it!
If you see or hear about any IUU incident taking place, please contact us directly.
2.Creation of the first co-managed Fisheries Protected Area in Greece (FPA)
In order to create a model for efficient fisheries management in the Greek Seas, Archipelagos is working to establish the first “co-managed Fisheries Protected Area (FPA)” in Greece, in the region of the Fourni island complex in the eastern Aegean Sea. Over the last few years, Archipelagos has been closely cooperating with the local fishing community and authorities, collecting necessary scientific data on the local fish stocks and fishing methods. We have created a foundation for successful collaboration with the community, allowing fish stocks to recover. The Fourni FPA aims to produce legal framework and necessary scientific background for the community to actively co-manage the local fisheries and control numerous illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.
3. Assessment of Fishing Catch
We analyze the current status of Aegean fisheries via surveys conducted in small-scale fishing ports assessing the species and size compositions of fishing catches, making sure that this information does not remain undocumented. From this data we can extrapolate changes in fish stocks over time. The data gathered from long-term catch composition studies are necessary for the development of sustainable management strategies for multi-geared, small-scale fisheries of the Greek seas.
Archipelagos is collecting information from fishing communities in order to understand:
- Current fishing techniques and practices.
- Historical productivity data and trends.
- The socio-economic importance of fisheries for local island communities.
- Damage to fishing gear caused by protected marine species such as dolphins and monk seals.
- How to reduce the impacts of fishing practices to marine ecosystems and fish stocks.
5.Assessing the biodiversity of littoral zone habitats
In order to thoroughly understand the local fish stocks, research on the catch brought in by fishermen is complemented with visual census surveys assessing the biodiversity (fish, invertebrates, and algae) of littoral zone ecosystems. These biodiversity surveys, coupled with records of the physical and chemical parameters of littoral habitats, provide invaluable information about how the ecosystem changes over time.
6.Analysis of fish stock ecology
Fish samples are being taken from a selection of fish caught in the region. These samples undergo otolith analysis, geometric morphometrics and ecotoxicological assessment. In all cases, fish are sampled immediately post capture and have their length, weight, sex and maturity determined. Selected samples are later sent to laboratories specializing in ecotoxological research for further analysis.
Archipelagos’ multidisciplinary scientific research fortifies both the conservation and policy work we do. Armed with scientific data, we are able to advocate at the national and EU level for the survival of species and ecosystems, as well as press for the necessary legislature which will protect them.
8.Awareness raising activities
Archipelagos works diligently to engage local, coastal communities and develop a strong common cause for healthy, sustainable future. Through dialogue, shared experiences, observations and research we aim to communicate the increasing threats to the health of our seas and islands. We greatly respect and encourage the positive role that these communities have to play as stewards of wild habitats and species.