United Nations
Establishment of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) at the coastline of Plakias, Crete
by Marine Field Station Plakias - Dive2Gether (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
In 2016 a marine field station was established in Plakias, in the diving school Dive Together in cooperation with the Austrian Non-Profit organisation Mare Mundi and other partners (see project partners). The overall goal of this marine field station is to establish a Marine Protected Area at the surrounding coastline, working together with the regional politicians and inhabitants of Plakias. In order to reach this goal three pillars were established.

Awareness will be raised about the importance of the marine environment and its ecosystems. This started in May 2016 with biweekly free public presentations held at the marine field station on marine environment related topics. Since 2016, there have also been presentations in local primary schools about the prevention of marine plastic pollution, combined with beach and underwater clean ups, and the plan is to do more school presentations on environmental and marine topics, to improve the education. Since 2016, other public speeches in the region have also been conducted to raise awareness of the marine environment and the importance of protecting it. Tourists and inhabitants are able to join diving activities with a focus on environmental awareness. These presentations and activities were created and are led by an Austrian Marine Biologist.

In June 2016 expert Austrian biologists did a detailed marine biological survey of the area. The outcome of this survey stated that the region, due to its varieties in ecosystems, quickly dropping slopes and organisms, which can be found on the IUCN red list, is very suitable for a MPA. The Austrian Marine Biologist, together with tourists, regularly observes and collects data on Neptune grass (Posidonia oceanica) meadows. In 2017 Masters Students of the University of Vienna are taking samples for their Masters thesis, which leads to more knowledge of the region. The Marine Field station offers facilities for Austrian scientists and students to conduct research at the south coast of Crete. The knowledge and data collected is shared with other environmental organisations and other interested persons.

A MPA in this region will lead to the protection of endangered species, increase biodiversity and will conserve important ecosystems for generations to come. The MPA will also increase eco-tourism in the area, which will strengthen the economy of this region and generate jobs. The cooperation between Austria and Greece will be improved due to the effort of Austrian Scientists. Furthermore this initiative shall be a ground breaker and lead the way to more marine protected areas in Greece, due to experienced benefits.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): raising awareness in local schools
  • Coastal clean-ups:
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Other (please specify): introductory courses for non-scientific divers about marine biology topics
December 2021
Establishment of a Marine Protected Area
Financing (in USD)
1,995 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Financing (in USD)
5,606 USD
Financing (in USD)
95,300 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: 2016 April - ongoing
Lead entity: Marine Field Station Plakias, located in Dive centre Dive Together Crete, Plakias, 74060 Rethymo, Crete, Greece Consultant: Mag. Mag. Ivo Gallmetzer and Mag. Dr. Daniel Abed-Navandi, lecturers at the University of Vienna, Department of integrative Zoology Consultant and supporter: Mag. Dr. Andreas Traxler, Technisches Bro (TB) BIOME fr Biologie und kologie, A-2201 Gerasdorf, Lorenz Steinergasse 6; und Wissenschaftliche Forschungsstation ZORA (Lentas, Crete) Co founder and consultant: Dr. Robert Hofrichter, founder of Mare Mundi Schwarzstrae 33, A- 5020 Salzburg Conductor: BSc. Martina Stockinger, Masters Student of the University of Vienna and employee of Mare Mundi and Dive Together
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Regional tourism and economy in south Greece - Nature protection in south Greece Local fisheries and inhabitants of Plakias - Austrian Universities and Scientists
Contact information
Paul Koblens, Manager, paul.koblens@dive2gether.com, 0030 697 4031441
Other SDGs
United Nations