Mo.Na Project - The first mission of Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Santorini

Oct 23, 2020   Santorini, Greece

Despite the many adversities, Mo.Na Project is safely progressing towards meeting its goals. A scientific fieldtrip to Santorini island, Aegean Sea, Greece, aiming to survey marine habitats and biodiversity within the unique volcanic Caldera was succesfully completed in late July - early August, 2020.

A 3-member Scientific Diving Team from the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, locally supported by the Atlantis Dive Cente, performed an extensive survey across the study area by means of towed underwater camera, scuba diving and snorkeling grountruthing transects.

A wealth of original ecological information was collected, identifying a wide and rich diversity of species and habitats, but also numerous pressures and threats lagging to be addressed. Unique seascape aspects, such as steep vertical cliffs dropping down to hundreds of meters below the sea surface, volcanic rocks painted with iron-loving bacteria, lush underwater Posidonia meadows, and a teeming marine life of both Mediterranean and Red Sea origin were revealed, adding to the area’s uniqueness and vulnerability.