Friday, May 16, 2014

World Fish Migration Day: Vravrona Archeological Site Attika Greece 24/05

End of May 2014

When was the last time you went out to nature with scientists walking, talking, sampling?

Well...This is THE opportunity!

Ichthyologists, Hydrologists, Geologists, Potamologists, Ornithologists and other Oologists will be at Vravrona Natura 2000 site (30 km SE of Athens) to guide you and your family into the wild and mysterious world of the STREAM, WETLAND and its MIGRATORY FISHES.

YES, there are migratory fishes around, just like migratory birds. These animals make mass migrations from spawning areas to seasonal nursery grounds, to special staging areas and refuges. They move up-river, in-stream, in the floodplain, to the river mouth and out to sea. They overcome obstacles and transform themselves from 'river fishes' to 'lake fishes' and from 'sea fishes' to 'river fishes'. They are important because they create CONNECTIONS between very different worlds expanding food webs, enriching the waters.

At Vravrona we have a very very small streamlet - the Erassinos River. It flows into a shallow muddy bay near the famous archaeological site. The stream has just one native wholly freshwater fish, the Marathon Minnow but this tiny fish doesn't migrate very much, it is a poor disperser - a 'marsh fish' and it is Endangered. Ok. BUT, the really widespread fishes that are more common in the stream and its river mouth do move a lot: European Eels and Grey-mullets. These fish are not just tiny and cryptic they are the basis of important food webs - they feed the birds! Also, they require unobstructed passage to fresh waters, they need waters during the long summer drought when local farmers greedily divert the stream's water to their fig groves....These fishes require special habitats as nursery grounds and for long-distance migrations. Also, some migrant fish are threatened: the European Eel is categorized as Critically Endangered.

What is being planned on this scientist-guided excursion:

We will use nets and electrofishing devices to carefully collect the fish alive, show them to you in portable aquaria, and then return them back to their waters. And why are we so interested in fish? Many reasons: Some consider them and their world a "natural heritage". Some consider them beautiful. Some work to understand resource management through their needs... Some of us think that they may be good indicators of the state of the aquatic ecosystems.....

For aquatic scientists fishes are a baseline for natural history, can they become a "conservation icon" for wetlands, streams and coasts? Society will decide.

Come and learn and enjoy the fun of 'fishing' with the scientists.

This event is supported by the World Migratory Fish Day 


The EcoFlow Project

and the Hellenic Ornithological Society

Save the Date: 
Vravrona Archeological Museum Parking Lot; Saturday 24th of May, 10:00 - 12:00 AM. 

For more information please feel free to call us: 2291 0 76389 or 6973591204 
(please ask for Ms. Christina Papadaki at HCMR)

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