Innovative Methods for Securing the Protection of the New MPA

The successful operation, management and protection of the new MPA protected area depends to a great extent on the compliance with the legislation and the measures that will be decided and applied. The “CYCLADES LIFE” team has designed an innovative pilot Surveillance System, unique at the national level, in order to contribute to the active and effective guarding of Gyaros and the wider marine area.

The surveillance system is planned to consist of:
•    The use of a radar installation remotely monitored and operated through internet services that will ensure the maximum coverage of the marine area of Gyaros, in order to track incoming vessels and identify illegal fishing activities, by transmitting the collected data to “CYCLADES LIFE” Operational Centre in Syros.
•    Τhe use of a notification system for incoming vessels, which will inform them automatically via VHF that they have entered the MPA, what restrictions apply and where mooring is available.
•    The use of a small, self-piloted Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) that will perform autonomous aerial patrols around the island of Gyaros, as well as taking and transmitting real-time video. In addition, the use of digital infrared cameras installed in selected breeding sites of the local Mediterranean Monk seal population on the island of Gyaros, which they will be activated by body heat and movement and will be programmed to operate in a time-lapse manner, will allow the tam to monitor human any human intervention or disturbance around the monk habitat and the seal caves.
•    The use of a well-equipped, high-speed inflatable boat responding to input from the radar system, so as to patrol efficiently and effectively the area.

Furthermore, a data recording system will be used to register and compile detailed information regarding the patterns of illegal activities in the marine area of the island of Gyaros. This information will be valuable for the future management efforts of the new MPA.

This crucial action will be implemented through a constructive and effective collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Hellenic Coast Guard of Syros and the other relevant competent authorities responsible for the management and protection of Protected Areas, who will provide support and be responsible for the enforcement of the regulations.