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Marine mammals under threat
Everything that Catches our Eyes |

via: ekathimerini.com

By Matthaios Tsimitakis

Some of the world’s rarest marine mammals live in Greek waters, a widely known fact that many have not quite grasped the significance of. Greece’s seas boast wonderful species, from the common dolphin and the Mediterranean monk seal, to the fin whale and the beaked whale, both little-known creatures that are rarely sighted. The beaked whale can reach a length of 20 meters and there have been a few sightings in the Ionian Sea and in the area south of Crete, while dolphins and seals are normally encountered in sheltered gulfs such as the Amvrakikos or the Gulf of Corinth. Scientists recently spotted three different dolphin species in one pod, leading to interesting evolutionary theories.

These mammals all have a valuable role to play in maintaining the balance and abundance of the ecosystem, yet they face numerous serious threats, all deriving from human activity. Whales being hit by ships along the increasingly busy sea routes of the Ionian and Aegean or being disoriented by sonar used by navy ships (sometimes resulting in serious injury or even death); dolphins choking to death after swallowing plastic bags; seals being injured by boat propellers or killed by illegal fishing with dynamite – these are but some of the crimes that have been recorded against Greece’s sea mammals.

The fact is that the idyllic depictions of these animals swimming in the Greek seas may do much to boost the country’s image as a tourism destination, but the real picture behind the scenes is a horror story for the marine mammals themselves….
source/read more: www.ekathimerini.com

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