The coastal waters of Greece still harbour a remarkable diversity of marine mammal fauna compared to other parts of the Mediterranean. Yet, such richness is decreasing due to degradation of the marine environment and other human-driven impacts. We conduct research and conservation activities aimed at identifying measures to slow-down, halt or reverse such trends.
While today’s abundance of whales and dolphins is likely only a fragment of what it was a century ago, important populations still live and reproduce in the Greek seas. Ensuring the long-term survival of healthy dolphin populations must become a priority, as advocated by the EC Habitats Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and consistent with national commitments to preserve cetaceans and marine biodiversity.
In the past few years, we are also dedicating significant effort to address the threats posed to the Mediterranean monk seal and its core Ionian habitat. The present condition of this endangered species is at the same time very exciting (due to unprecedented and increasing numbers of sightings) but in parallel very worrisome due to an urgent need to mitigate disturbance in the seals’ critical habitat.