WP3: Scientific surveys to test the effects of protected areas

Co-ordinator: Stelios Katsanevakis (UAegean)

Field research (natural experiment) in order to investigate the effectiveness of MPAs (in a wide sense, including areas unsuitable for fishing) in increasing fish abundance and biomass.

Task 3.1:
 Selection of sites

Responsible: Stelios Katsanevakis (UAegean)
A natural experimental design (i.e. controls and impacted areas are selected by nature and human activities and may not be manipulated) will allow the investigation of the effect of MPAs on fish stocks. Hence, based on WP 2, and for the study areas the following will be made:

Aegean Sea

Two sets of sites will be selected: the first in areas with high fishing effort and the other in areas with no or very low fishing effort (in no take zones or areas unsuitable for fishing). In the latter case, the NMPANS that has protection subareas that have more rigorous protection with more strict measures in force in some of its areas, as a result of the high urgency for protection, uniqueness and wilderness of the plant and animal which live there, would be a priority site (especially Zone A1 (core) where the approach of any vessel in a radius of 3 nm around the island is prohibited).


Sites of interest will be selected in all proposed areas as MPA, as well as in areas adjacent to the MPAs, the latter being generally of small size. Visual census and experimental fishing will be carried out.

Task 3.2: Underwater visual surveys (UVS) in the selected sites

Responsible: Stelios Katsanevakis (UAegean)
UVS will be carried out in order to estimate the abundance and biomass of fish in shallow rocky reefs. Standard UVS techniques will be applied by a team of divers/researchers, including strip transects and distance sampling methods. The same methods will be applied both in the Aegean and Cyprus.

Sub-task 3.2.1: UVS in the Aegean
Responsible: Stelios Katsanevakis (Uaegean)

Sub-task 3.2.2: UVS in Cyprus
Responsible: Antonis Petrou (ENALIA)

Task 3.3: Experimental fishing trials

Responsible: Vassiliki Vassilopoulou (HCMR)
Apart from the UVS, experimental fishing trials will be carried out in the selected sites, in order to gain knowledge of fish composition, distribution and biomass in depths greater than those sampled with visual census techniques. Emphasis will be given in areas with no or little existing information.


Task 3.2: Underwater visual surveys (UVS) in the selected sites

D3.1: UVS results (species list, biomass, current status of fish stock in selected sites)

Task 3.3:
Experimental fishing trials

D3.2: Fishing trial results (species list, biomass, current status of fish stock in selected sites)

Work Packages

  • +30 2109856701
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Us

PROTOMEDEA stands for "Towards the establishment of Marine Protected Area Networks in the Eastern Mediterranean"

The project will be running for 36 months, from December 2015 to November 2018

and the level of funding amounts to EUR 600.000.