Securing Gyaros MPA sustainability though pioneer remote surveillance system

Timeframe: 2018 - 2020
Country/Region: Greece
Partner: WWF Greece

The uninhabited island of Gyaros is home to one of the largest population of the endangered Mediterranean Monk seals and has been recently declared a Marine Protected Area. The fact that at Gyaros, seals still use open beaches to breed their pups is a unique but still very fragile situation that requires special management measures to be conserved. Hence, the safeguarding of the conservation area against illegal activities that are destructive for the environment is of fundamental importance.

The aim of this project, implemented by WWF Greece and supported by Fondation Segré and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in the framework of a close partnership (read more here), is to secure the conservation of the unique Mediterranean Monk seal habitat of this island, including the Monk seal breeding sites, the extensive posidonia beds and the coralligenous formations. This purpose will be primarily served by the continuous operation of a state-of-the-art remote surveillance system and patrolling in collaboration with the Coast Guards that will ensure the active intervention against illegal activities taking place in the site and the prosecution of perpetrators. The surveillance system will be fine-tuned by the input of the key stakeholders, in particular by Port Police authority and local fishermen association.

The project builds on the successful implementation of WWF Greece CYCLADES project that is been implemented since 2013 with the support of the European Commission (LIFE funding instrument) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.