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The Aegean Sea
Dassenakis, M.; Kapiris, K.; Pavlidou, A. (2000). The Aegean Sea, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. pp. 233-252
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 1. Regional chapters: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 934 pp., more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Review

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Dassenakis, M., more
  • Kapiris, K.
  • Pavlidou, A.

Abstract
    The Aegean Sea is one of the Eastern Mediterranean sub-basins located between the Greek and the Turkish coasts and the islands of Crete and Rhodes. It has more than 2000 islands and a complex coastline with numerous gulfs. The main physical characteristics of this system are the general cyclonic movement of surface water, the high salinity, the dissolved oxygen saturation, the low biomass and the low availability of nutrients. It is affected also by the Black Sea water which comes into the Aegean through the Dardanelles. Many human activities (urban, industrial, marine, rural, etc.) affect the water quality and threaten this fragile ecosystem. Most of the environmental problems are concentrated near the large cities where many scheduled works for pollution control are either delayed or are ineffectively designed. As a result, in many areas the level of heavy metals, organic pollutants and nutrient concentrations are significantly elevated. Some gulfs suffer seasonally from eutro- phication and anoxic condition problems. Oil spills and litter have frequently been encountered on the beaches during the last few years. Furthermore, the excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides contributes significantly to the deterioration of many coastal ecosystems of the Aegean. The Aegean coastline is one of the most valuable natural resources, as it generates value from tourism, recreation, transport, fisheries, aquaculture and salt extraction, but it is managed without any serious planning both in Greece and in Turkey. Social pressures for better environment quality are still low, although numerous economic activities are directly dependent on improving the environmental condition. It is still not clear to many that high environment quality is directly related to socio-economic development and prosperity.

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