MarLitCyEnalia Physis Environmental Research Center is proud to be part of the partnership of the MarLitCy project, together with the Famagusta Walled City Association, AKTI Project and Research Centre and the Scuba Divers Association.

MarLitCy is a 28 month long project, funded by EuropeAid that aims to use the problem of marine litter as a tool for promoting dialogue and building closer relationships in Cyprus. Marine litter is an increasing cross-sectoral global challenge with no geographic or political boundaries. In the last few years, it has received major attention from the European Commission. It represents one of the 11 descriptors within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and several funding schemes have been made available to improve the understanding of associated processes and implications but also to promote and facilitate the coordination of efforts of its Member States towards solutions.

Being a multi-disciplinary and “novel” problem, marine litter forms the ideal tool for promoting cooperation and trust through joint actions between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot NGOs and communities, while emphasising the capacity building and promotion of European values and practices in both parts of Cyprus. Our sea is in danger! This resonates well in both communities. Common actions from the grassroots of society will form the back bone of closer relations and trust. The project aims to enhance communication and cooperation between key players of both communities, specifically between local authorities, harbour authorities, industry, fishermen, divers, beach tourism enterprises, and children and youth, in order to tackle the Marine Litter problem. This will be achieved through the following interrelated activities:

  1. Island-wide survey on the perception of stakeholders regarding marine litter;
  2. Solution oriented educational activities in schools. School children will participate in hands-on and field activities and competitions;
  3. Transfer and implementation of best practices: the Best Practices Database of the European Research Project MARLISCO will be used, in order to transfer and implement practices for reducing marine litter, targeting the island’s harbours, with a focus on Famagusta Harbour, the fishing industry island-wide, coastal local authorities, coastal tourism enterprises;
  4. Island-wide awareness-raising campaigns: civic engagement will be triggered through attractive activities, such as the organisation of open “meet the … seabed” days, where the general public and especially children and youth will have the chance to meet with diving schools and become familiar with water sports and through these activities to become aware of marine littering and the need for the promotion of the “Good Environmental Status” of our marine environment. Also innovative beach and seabed clean-ups will be carried out with the implementation of international protocols, resulting in the creation of the Cyprus Marine Litter Database. Awareness-raising will be a continuous activity, designed to have a high degree of social and civic engagement;
  5. A photography contest involving students and youngsters across Cyprus will be implemented, and a common exhibition will be held.

We call all friends and members of Enalia Physis to join our efforts in order to tackle the universal Marine Litter problem through the cooperation of both communities.

More info can be found at the projects website


Triops cancriformis: A new species for the fauna of Cyprus

A new species for the fauna of Cyprus has been  recently reported by Enalia Physis and collaborators from Cyprus, Greece and Italy. The Notostacan species Triops cancriformis was recorded in Paralimni Lake, a temporary brackish lake, in 2013. T. cancriformis is considered a living fossil, since scientific reports date the species back to the Jurassic period (approximately 180 million years ago). DNA analysis was conducted on the specimens collected, in order to carry out the molecular identification of the taxon. The mtDNA analysis verified the morphological identification of the species and revealed that the reported Cyprus population is genetically identical to observed specimens from Italy and Serbia. This new finding highlights the importance of Paralimni lake and the need for proper water and habitat management in the area. In addition it reminds to all of us the little attention given in wetlands, especially temporary ponds and lakes, of Cyprus.

The findings of the study were published by Tziortzis I. et al.  in the scientific journal LIMNETICA under the title ”First record of the Tadpole Shrimp Triops cancriformis (Branchiopoda, Notostraca) in Cyprus”, and can be accessed here.

Enalia Physis Publications in 2014

customlogoEnalia Physis was founded by people who shared the same passion for the environment and were guided by the same vision: to conduct and promote environmental research in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems and to encourage and enhance education and ecological awareness of the general public.

Enalia Physis members are still serving these purposes and the scientific work that has been quietly and diligently taking place the last few years, both in marine and freshwater biomes, has yield significant results.

The following publications were authored by Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center members (bold) in 2014:

Jimenez C.Hadjioannou L.Petrou A., Nikolaidis A., Evriadou M. & Lange M. 2014. Mortality of coralligenous organisms associated to seawater temperature anomalies in the Levantine Sea (Cyprus). Regional Environmental Change. doi: 10.1007/s10113-014-0729-2.

Tziortzis I., Zogaris S., Papatheodoulou A. & Marrone F. 2014. First record of the Tadpole Shrimp Triops cancriformis (Branchiopoda, Notostraca) in Cyprus. Limnetica 33 (2), 341-348. Link

Research is of course continuous, and we hope that more exciting outcomes will arise from our current activities in the near future. So stay tuned and if interested, join us in this fascinating journey.

Zenobia Week

UPDATE: Antonis Petrou’s presentation is viewable here.

If you are lucky enough to be a diver then you definitely know all about the Zenobia wreck and its marine life!

But if you consider yourself a future diver or a sea lover, here you will find a short feedback regarding this magnificent huge wreck. You can be further informed during the Zenobia Week, a 7-day event with many activities, that Enalia Physis is supporting and participating in:

The Zenobia wreck is among the ten-most-famous-sites-for-diving in the world. It is lying on the seabed since the 7th of June, 1980. It is found at the depth of 42 m from the sea surface with all its cargo, only half a mile away from where the Larnaca Harbor is today.

Zenobia wreck is a home for many invertebrate organisms as well as fish.