Marine Census: How technology can protect the marine environment

Confronting marine pollution today requires, more than ever, the use of technological tools that can provide conclusions and solutions at both national and international levels. In this respect, the second year of cooperation between Aegean Rebreath and ELIN to support the Blue Municipalities Network (B.M.N.) is based on the donation of an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will be utilized for research purposes.

Through the use of said equipment, the program seeks to develop a database for the B.M.N. members that will include the assessment of seabed contamination caused by heavy metals, as well as the collection of sea water samples to evaluate water quality in each region. The analysis of the samples will be conducted by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, thus providing scientific conclusions that can be further communicated at local, regional, and central level. Said data are expected to offer valuable information to local authorities and communities about the sources of pollution as well as helpful guidance to develop evidence based policies for the protection of our seas. This effort will be documented in a national survey that will be submitted to local authorities and competent ministries.

At the same time, the donated equipment will be further utilized during the activities that will be implemented by Aegean Rebreath at the member municipalities, specifically in operations to retrieve abandoned nets from reefs and while mapping polluted marine zones. This is very important because, apart from the available evidence regarding pollution in most Greek ports, more information is needed about the condition of reefs and marine zones in remote areas. These operations are expected to engage the fishing community, which has supported Aegean Rebreath’s broader efforts from the very beginning.

It is clear that this program actively contributes to enhancing innovation, technology, and research among the network members, as well as promoting awareness in local communities. It fosters collaboration between local government, civil society, and the research community across various fields. Another technological tool, therefore, strengthens our capacity to protect the marine environment in different parts of Greece!

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