Inner Ionian Archipelago & adjacent gulfs
Patraikos and Korinthiakos Gulfs

Yiannis Issaris YISSARIS.COMThe area is hosting a great variety of habitats and species included in the Annexes of the EU Habitat Directive, such as Posidonia oceanica meadows (priority habitat), reefs, monk seals (the most endangered marine species in the Mediterranean), nesting sites of loggerhead sea turtle, bottle-nosed dolphins, fan mussels, date mussels and other endangered species as the common dolphin and sperm whales, included in the protocols of Barcelona Convention.
Diverse human activities, mainly fisheries, shipping, industry, tourism and aquaculture, occur both along the coast of the study area and in offshore waters. Conflicts of interest exist among the aforementioned sectors, and between some human activities and specific nature conservation goals. Moreover, the study area is characterized by strong seismic and faulting activity, which is the triggering factor for various geohazards threatening the coastal zones.

The above highlight the need for a comprehensive spatial plan, as compared to the fragmented institutional management currently in action, focusing either on the operation of certain sectors, or on conserving specific MPAs and Natura zones.

Aim of case Study
Issues to be tackled fall into the following major categories:

  • Conservation versus human activities,
  • Conflicts among human activities,
  • Natural pressures (geohazards) versus conservation and human activities.

Yiannis Issaris YISSARIS.COMOne of the major tasks in this case study will be the creation of detailed, complete maps of the marine area, identifying where and how it is used by humans, and what protected species and habitats exist within it. The study will also focus on the identification of factors driving specific patterns of use, and how existing uses are related to existing policies. Innovative tools (ie. Marxan) will be then used to find a range of near optimal systems of protected areas that meet conservation targets while attempting to minimize socio-economic costs. The ultimate goal will be to provide recommendations aiming to sustainable use of the marine environment, contributing thus to achieving Good Environmental Status in the context of the MSFD.