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Protecting the underwater beauty of Erimitis, Corfu

July 20, 2023

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Blue Marine Foundation, Ionian Environment Foundation and iSea join forces once again in the Ionian, to document and highlight the ecological importance of the marine environment of Erimitis starting this week with a visit to NE Corfu for undertaking discussions and conducting research in the area.

 

The Erimitis Peninsula lies in the Straits of Corfu and constitutes a landscape of unique natural beauty. It is an untouched area in the Northeast of Corfu Island, accessible only through hiking trails or by boat. This remote area includes seven bays and three coastal freshwater lakes, almost touching the sea. At this pristine natural treasure, flora and fauna thrive, from magnificent flowers to forest species, and wild mammals.

 

However, the marine part of this paradise on earth is relatively underexplored compared to its terrestrial environment. Thus, iSea since 2021 is studying the marine biodiversity of the area with a focus on one of the most important habitats in the Mediterranean, P. oceanica meadows and the biodiversity they host.

 

According to the latest results, the area composes a healthy and rich marine ecosystem. This fact, in combination with the amount of Blue Carbon assessed to be stored in the area’s P. oceanica meadows, makes the protection and science based management of the area critical, in order to avoid its degradation from existing and upcoming threats and disturbances.

 

The initiative of the three organisations aims at increasing the scientific knowledge on priority marine habitats and protected and threatened species. They aim to highlight the significance of the Erimitis marine area and inform decision makers for delineating science-based management.

 

Specific actions will include:

  • Mapping the habitat of Posidonia meadows in new study areas encircling the Erimitis peninsula from St. Stefano to Avlaki Beach
  • Evaluating the conservation status of the Posidonia meadows within and outside the area to inform policy and decision makers for the effective management of the habitat
  • Identifying other habitats and species that are under threat and/or protection status to guide future research and conservation initiatives
  • Forming a report that encompasses all the existing knowledge for the marine part of Erimitis.

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