On Tuesday December 24th 2015 the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administrative Authority of the Aegean signed the official designation of the Gyaros marine area as Wildlife Refuge (WR). The WR contains the marine area 3 nautical miles around the coast of the island and the seashore. The primary goal of the WR is to protect the critical marine habitats (Posidonia meadows and maerl beds) and key stone species (Mediterranean Monk Seal and Yelkouan Shearwater) it contains.
Within the marine WR several human activities are prohibited, like hunting, the collection and the harming of the local flora, the intentional disruption of the quiet areas of the fauna, the deliberate destruction or damage of nests and eggs, the removal of sand, any pollution practices, the development of aquaculture activities, the conduct of military exercises and the development of urban planning.
This particular WR is the first marine WR to be designated in the country and its designation paves the way for the establishment of further protection measures around Gyaros and for the accomplishment of the official designation and legal establishment of a Marine Protected Area.
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