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Hellenic Ornithological Society, photo: I.Foufopoulos
June 14, 2010
Algal bloom affects seabirds in the Northern Aegean Sea


This year was not a good one in the Northern Aegean Sea neither for the Mediterranean Shag, nor for the fishermen. An algal bloom, which started at the end of 2009, now, at the end of May, it has still not completed its biological cycle, leaving several marine areas in the region still covered with its remains. Its long duration has had devastating effects particularly on the breeding performance of the Mediterranean Shag in the Northern Aegean, where the species largest colonies in Greece are located. The breeding success was literally decimated, as some colonies produced up to 50 times less juveniles then during previous years. The extent of algal bloom was much greater than initially expected reaching as far as Limnos, Northern Sporades and Skyros in the central Aegean Sea. Similarly, seabird surveys at sea indicate that areas affected by algal bloom are inhospitable to seabirds which avoid them.


Juvenile shag at the port of Psara

Juvenile shag looking for food at the port of Psara (Central Aegean Sea)

Widespread algal bloom at Kavala bay

Widespread algal bloom at Kavala bay (northern Greece)

Dead fish at Kavala

Θαλασσοκόρακας & Αιγαιόγλαρος

Φωτογραφικό αρχείο

take part in the Greek seabird population census

LIFE Natura 2000

LIFE07 NAT/GR/000285
Concrete conservation actions for the Mediterranean Shag and Audouin's Gull in Greece, including the inventory of relevant marine IBAs

The project is implemented by the Hellenic Ornithological Society, in collaboration with the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal (ΜΟm), the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), the Technological Institution (TEI) of Ionian Islands and the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), with the financial support of the European Commission and the co-financing of the A.G. Leventis Foundation.
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Last update: November 19, 2010

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