2020 - 2022
Greece is a country with rich marine life and it hosts an important number of species of marine megafauna. Greek waters are also a productive fishing area, therefore the fishing industry is an important part of the local economy and supports coastal communities. However, fishing activities being so intensively operating are endangering, directly and indirectly, the country’s marine megafauna, with serious consequences for the preservation and well-being of keystone species such as cetaceans, monk seals, sea turtles, seabirds, sharks, and rays, but also with economic consequences for fishers.
The project “Addressing the interaction between SSF and marine megafauna in Greece” (INCA) provides for the first time robust data from throughout the country on the impact of fishing activities on key marine megafauna. It contributes to the development of mitigation proposals including the establishment of a fair national compensatory system for small-scale fishers and incidental reduction measures. During the first phase of the project (July to October 2020), the project’s 4 field teams visited more than 450 ports, recorded up to 5500 Small Scale Fisheries (SSF) vessels, and conducted 1000 interviews with fishers at the national level. During phase 2 (January to December 2021) 5 of the most important megafauna interaction hotspots will be sampled through onboard observations. Thanks to these on-the-ground field research, biological, and economic damages will be analyzed and concrete solutions will be identified to mitigate SSF and marine megafaunal interactions.
Marine biodiversity expert - WWF Greece
Objectives / results
- To provide robust data on the impact of fishing activities on marine megafauna in Greece
- To complete on-going advocacy work to mitigate marine megafauna and small-scale fisheries conflict in Greece
- To promote the development of a national compensatory system to fishers and propose feasible and scientifically robust alternatives to the national authorities.