The program “Integrated Monk seal conservation of Northern Cyclades” aiming to establish for the first time in Greece, a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) around the Natura site of Gyaros (The deserted islet and former exile site).
The management plan was designed with a holistic and interdisciplinary approach and using a pioneering methodology in order promote sustainable development in local communities, support sustainable fisheries and protect biodiversity.
A maritime ecosystem of exceptional natural beauty and unique ecological value was revealed by a scientific research that was held on Gyaros island seabed by the Sea Geology and Natural Oceanography laboratory of the University of Patras for WWF Hellas within the framework of the programme Cyclades Life.
The research found that over 50 percent of the mapped area of 24 square kilometres is covered by prairies of Poseidonia (Mediterrenean tapeweed) and dense coral formations, two very important habitats that testify the health of the coastal environment and constitute a refuge for the reproduction of a large number of sea species.
Cyclades Life programme started in July 2013 and will run until 2017. The programme’s aim is the creation of a refuge and a protection park for the Mediterrenean seal (monachus monachus) at the region of Gyaros jointly with the societies of Syros and Andros islands.