BLUE supported a habitat-mapping project around the islands of Gyaros, Syros and Andros in the Cyclades, which was successfully implemented in 2015. The work carried out has rendered these sites the best mapped areas in the country, in terms of underwater habitats, and justified the management of habitats outside the radius of three nautical miles around the island of Gyaros which was the initial scope of the marine reserve. Mapping important habitats protected by EU law is now likely to be a technique used to propose other marine reserves throughout Greece, and in our Aeolian project.
This work, carried out by WWF Greece and enabled by BLUE, will provide the basis for management plan for the whole area surrounding Gyaros Island. It is hoped clear information on what lies underwater will help the local professional fishermen to embrace the Cyclades project by highlighting the need to conserve these valuable habitats, thus contributing, in the long-run, to the protection of local fish-stocks.
An engagement project with fishermen operating from the island of Syros will commence in summer 2016 using the remaining BLUE funds.