The mapping program

The European program Mediterranean International Trawl Survey, which began in 1994, is now the fisheries data collation program 2002-2006 (funded by the Agriculture Ministry). The program has managed to record 200-220 species of fish, cephalopods (such as octopi) and crustaceans living in the northern and southern Aegean, Cretan and Ionian seas, providing valuable data on fish stocks in this country. Its goal is to map fisheries in Greece, fish-spawning grounds and the species endangered by overfishing. A final aim is the adoption of measures which would enable fishing activities to continue unhindered. Three marine research institutes are participating in the program, at a – The National Agricultural Research Foundation’s Fisheries Research Institute (NAGREF-FRI), based at Nea Peramos in the northern city of Kavala, conducts research and carries out measurements all around the northern Aegean. – The Institute of Marine Biological Resources of the NCMR carries out studies in the central Aegean. – The Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (IMBC), based in Iraklion, conducts surveys of the southern Aegean. Initially, the program was funded by the EU and focused on numbers of commercial fish species. It studied fish stock trends, collating data that were vital for the EU to forge and substantiate a common fisheries policy. A total of 180 stations were visited every year by teams from the three centers from May to July, the period most species reproduce.