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Legal status Protected under the Ramsar Convention Wetland Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Special Protected Area (SPA) National Park

Axios Delta National Park

Wildlife Refuge Eurosite Factsheet Marine and Coastal Protected Areas www.eurosite.org l info@eurosite.org l +31 13 5944 400

An extended coastal wetland complex - covering a surface area of 33,800 ha - of river estuaries, marshes, lagoons and salt flats, 20% of its total surface being marine, located in the NW part of Thermaikos Gulf, Northern Greece.

Thermaikos Gulf - Northern Greece

Management of the Protected Area The Axios Delta Management Authority being responsible for a protected coastal wetland in close vicinity to a big city with a busy harbour, an industrial zone and several aquaculture and rice growing activities, addresses conservation issues by using tools and criteria such as the CMP Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation for defining biological targets, recording pressures, prioritising threats and moving on to the application of management actions supported by monitoring programmes and communication, awareness and participatory processes. The above adaptive management methodology led to the development of the Recommended strategic plan to maintain favourable conservation status of the Natura 2000 areas in the Axios Delta (2009-2013) which is currently being updated. Important contributing factors for the situation in the Protected Area include unclear distribution of responsibilities between authorities and the weak current mandate and capacity of the Axios Authority to define, enforce and implement management measures. The stakeholders of the area are mainly mussel producers (80% of the Greek bivalve farming activity of the Mediterranean mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, takes place inside or in direct vicinity to the Protected Area in the Thermaikos Gulf), fishermen, rice farmers, cattle breeders and local communities.

Issues and challenges Secured core funding is necessary to ensure continuation in multi-stakeholder processes and implementation of longer-term strategies. Additional funding for specific projects could be raised from various national, European and international funds.

Habitats and species protected • • • •

Information and videos Further information: http://axiosdelta.gr/

Recommended video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbfY_uaZcpc

1130 estuaries 1150 coastal lagoons 1160 large shallow inlets and bays Pinna (Pinna nobilis)

The river estuaries compromise spawning and nursery grounds of pivotal importance for various marine invertebrates and fish.

Marine and Coastal Protected Areas working group factsheet Axios delta