Still far from being old iron
Refuge for sprightly sea pensioners
The Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary Project on the Dodecanese Island, Lipsi, in Greece is dedicated to the protection of marine mammals. Dolphins, seals and turtles previously kept in captivity become acquainted with species-appropriate habitats for the first time in this new and unique marine sanctuary. Injured or stranded animals from the wild receive medical assistance.
Given that returning to the wild is often no longer possible, the animals can spend their “retirement” in the natural surroundings of a demarcated sanctuary on the island coast. The target of the project, funded by the DER Touristik Foundation since 2019, is not only to protect and conserve marine mammals, but also to raise awareness of animal welfare, for example through educational programmes for the local population and tourists.
Due to Corona-related delays, the completion of the sanctuary (for seven seals, 30 turtles and up to ten dolphins), the opening of the visitor centre and the commissioning of the animal clinic, are scheduled for 2022. What is more, the project comprises the establishment of a first-aid network on the surrounding islands.
Anastasia Miliou from the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation describes her mission:
“The Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary aims to restore respect for dolphins and other marine wildlife in the Greek seas. Our rescue station will also offer expert veterinary and rehabilitative care for marine wildlife such as Bottlenose dolphins and the endangered Mediterranean monk seals that experience distress in the Aegean Sea.”
Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation
Archipelagos is a Greek non-profit, non-governmental organisation, which since 1998 has combined multidisciplinary scientific research and nature conservation work with the active participation of local communities. The goal is to protect biological diversity in the North-eastern Mediterranean, which a focus on the Greek seas and islands.
Source header: Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation