Aeolian Islands Expedition 2018

Jul 11, 2018 183

Italy’s Aeolian archipelago is a group of seven volcanic islands located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the north of Sicily. The waters here are home to emblematic species like loggerhead sea turtle, sperm whale, swordfish, and bluefin tuna, and to rare habitats, such as deep-sea hydrothermal vents. However, deep-sea areas in the Aeolians remain relatively unexplored, and little is known about the marine organisms that live on the underwater volcanic slopes and seamounts.

In contrast, we do know about the environmental impacts that affect the islands: overfishing, bycatch of threatened species, pollution…  Every year the islands are visited by more than 200,000 tourists and the number of yachts anchoring on their coasts are also growing. These pressures threaten both the marine biodiversity of the area, and the livelihoods of local people who depend upon marine resources.

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