Marine park. The National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, in Northern Sporades, was founded in 1992 by Presidential Decree of the Greek Government and it is the only one in our country.
The Park includes the south-eastern part of Skopelos and Alonissos, the only inhabited islands, and other smaller ones that are not inhabited except for some guardians or shepherds. 94% of the park consists of sea.
Due to the limited degree of human intervention and the preservation of the natural environment, a large number of animals and birds find shelter in the park. In the park you can see the wild goat Giouron, mavropetrites και egeaoglarous and admire the red coral Corralium rubrum and the important seagrass beds of Posidonia.
Dolphins play with the waves and sometimes accompany sea travelers.
The most important and beloved resident of the Park is the Mediterranean Seal, Monachus Monachus.
Since ancient Greek times it has gained the sympathy of the people as it is depicted in ancient Greek coins and praised by the greatest poet of old times, Homer.
It is one of the largest species of seal in the world and to survive it consumes food 5% of its weight.
The slow rate of reproduction, infant mortality, sea pollution, its precious fat and skin and the damage it causes to nets in the search foe food, are some of the reasons that have brought this sympathetic mammal to the first place of the species to be extinct in the European Union.
approximately 500 seals live in the Mediterranean and on the North Atlantic coast but the largest population lives in the National Marine Park of Alonnisos.
In the caves of the deserted islands, and especially on the island of Piperi which is the core of the park, seals find shelter and a safe place to bring their little ones into the world once a year.
The Alonissos fishing association essentially helps in the protection of the seal as they are indicators of a healthy sea environment.
Though brilliant, this animal avoids contact with people, however you may be lucky on your journey and see one.
You can see a dark figure at the edge of your vision surfing the waters, you can secretly admire it sunbathing on a seashore or even on some evenings you can hear his snoring!
But even if you don’t see it with your eyes, you will feel it with your heart. Don’t forget!!!
The protection of the environment and the rescue of the eco-chain are in the hands of all of us!