SAMOS, Greece – Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation has taken an important step forward in establishing the Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary. The sanctuary is intended to be the first of its kind in the world; a multi-purpose marine rehabilitation centre.
The sanctuary will have two areas of focus; a marine life vet station and a formerly captive dolphin refuge. This endeavour is of large international importance, as currently there is no such facility in the world.
There are a few in-land, captive facilities which provide rehabilitation to injured stranded animals, however, the unnatural environment increases avoidable stress for these animals, reducing the chance of recovery.
The sanctuary will aim to provide medical treatment for injured marine species, as well as provide permanent refuge for formerly captive dolphins that are unable to be released into the wild. The work by Archipelagos Institute would look to move the dolphins into a semi-natural environment with minimal human interaction, where they may once again practice their innate behaviours.
Greeks have honoured and respected dolphins for more than 2,500 years, dating back to ancient times when dolphins were thought to be a messenger of Poseidon. The respect shown from ancient times by Greeks, demonstrates a long-standing relationship which understands the importance of these charismatic animals.
As this was the first country to protect dolphins by ancient law, where harming a dolphin resulted in the death penalty, it seems only fitting that a facility based in Greece may provide the answer to rehoming formerly captive dolphins. Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation is taking a leading role in protecting these animals, reducing the harassment they have been under in recent years.
This shown by the efforts taken to establish this internationally important rehabilitation centre which will help not only dolphins but injured marine animals, and from Archipelagos’ long term marine mammal scientific research. Archipelagos cohesively looks to complete this research and assist the island communities of Greece.
Currently, work is being completed on the construction and landscaping of the sanctuary site. As funds are sourced, Archipelagos can continue the necessary work to have the sanctuary operational this year. Recently, a crowdfunding page has gone live, to continue raising funds so that the work can continue, you can find the page here: https://www.generosity.com/animal-pet-fundraising/the-aegean-marine-life-sanctuary.
Further information and pictures of the sanctuary can be found at: http://archipelago.gr/en/the-aegean-marine-life-sanctuary/ or,