Lecture on Marine Biodiversity and Marine Litter

Enalia Physis member and Marine Biologist Antonis Petrou, was the guest speaker to the lecture organised by KIMON Xylotymvou Diving Club. Antonis presented the theme  ”Biodiversity and Diving, new diving wrecks, artificial reefs and Marine Protected Areas” to the divers of the club, fishermen and other stakeholders . In addition the MarLitCy project was presented and the problem of marine litter was raised and discussed in detail. The participants had the opportunity to express their views on the issue of Marine Litter through dedicated questionnaires.

MarLitCy progress

MarLitCyProjects’ MarLitCy Board meeting took place on Saturday 14th March 2015 in Nicosia, in order to review the current progress of the project and coordinate future actions. Representatives from all partners, Enalia Physis, Akti, MASDER and Scuba Divers Association, participated in the meeting and expressed their opinions on the progress of the project and the future workpackages.

Enalia physis is responsible for organising and realising the  ”Meet the sea” and ‘‘Dive against debris” events in 2015 and 2016. Both events for 2015 are closing by and we will keep you  posted about the location and dates for the events, as well as for the opportunities of  involvement for anyone interested in participating.

 

”Paralimni lake: An ecological treasure for the area”

Enalia Physis was invited and participated in the event organised by the European funded.

BIOforLIFE project on the 11th of March 2015, in Paralimni. During the event Enalia Physis members Iakovos Tziortzis presented the ecological importance of the wetland, the most important species and habitats present in the lake and the opportunities arising from a proper management and promotion of the lake, in the benefit of local communities.

The event stimulated the interest of local authorities and local habitats who were present and showed their interest on the matter. The most important for us is the fact that the issues discussed puzzled the audience and draw the interest of media, therefore giving food for thought and looking the issue from a different perspective for the first time.

The presentation of Enalia Physis can be found here Paralimni lake_BioforLife.

Below you may view the media coverage given by RIK channel, as well as some photos from the event.

 

 

MarLitCy

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 http://www.marlitcy.eu/

Triops cancriformis: A new species for the fauna of Cyprus

CaptureA 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.