Greece has long been recognized as a country having perhaps the best physical resources of any Mediterranean country for aquaculture development, possessing as it does very large areas of largely unexploited waters in all of the three main environmental zones of fresh, brackish and salt water. However, the utilization of these zones for aquaculture is frequently in conflict with other sectors such as fisheries, agriculture, shipping, industry, tourism and archaeology.
The early identification of areas suitable for aquaculture development is therefore an essential step in the formulation of a development plan, and will allow the government implementing agency to promote the developing industry in a controlled and orderly manner; it will also enable it to predict future production levels, the way in which systems are likely to develop, and where essential infrastructures are likely to be required.
This section discusses the information required for the inventory and outlines the areas most suitable for development. Time was not available to make detailed descriptions and comments on the relative suitability of particular sites. However, the Ministry of Agriculture is itself commissioning a nationwide survey of marine sites by qualified ichthyologists which is expected to be completed within the next six months. The investigative aims and parameters of this survey are given in Appendix D.
The basic information required for potential marine sites is adequately summarized by the Ministry of Agriculture proposals in this respect (see Appendix D).
Investigations of cage sites and shellfish culture sites should also include an estimate of carrying capacity. This is a particularly crucial point in closed bays where there is little water exchange and problems with water quality could eventually be encountered.
No consideration appears to have been given to the environmental impact of cage farms. Impact is not only on benthos and water column, but also on visual amenity, especially in tourist and conservation areas. This topic is the subject of major debate in Scotland at the present time.
For fresh water lakes and reservoirs, carrying capacity calculations are made on the basis of the following information:
These parameters should therefore also be included for such water bodies as well as the relevant parameters applying to marine installations.
For rivers and springs, data should be collected concerning minimum, maximum and average daily water flow taken over as long a period as possible, as well as all the usual quality parameters.
The principal lagoon systems of Greece are well known and have been adequately described (see also report by Guelorget1). The fresh water systems are also well known, but largely unexploited. Should markets, for carp in particular, be developed then potential sites exist in many of the large lakes and reservoirs. These may be summarized as follows:
1 Guelorget, O. 1987 Aquaculture development in Greek lagoons. Rome, FAO, FI:DP/GRE/85/002/2, 30 p.
The potential for marine aquaculture in Greece has often been promoted on the basis of its indented coastline and numerous islands, providing plentiful shelter for potential cage units. In reality, however, good sheltered sites free from the competing interests of tourism, shipping and industry are difficult to find; often if they exist they are remote, access is difficult and infrastructure inadequate. The general areas offering the most potential for conventional cage farming developments are as follows:
Of all these areas, the most favourable is that of the Evia area. There are relatively large numbers of sheltered sites and water exchange and currents are better than in most other parts of Greece.
A number of the Aegean islands have sheltered bays with potential for cage and shellfish culture, notably Limnos, Lesvos and Milos.
On Crete the only possible sheltered sites are Souda Bay (military activity and busy shipping port) and Elunda Bay.
It may be seen therefore that the potential number of sheltered inshore sites is relatively limited. However, if appropriate cage technologies are developed the number of potential sites could increase dramatically. The semi-open gulfs of Amvrakikos, Corinth, Evia and Pagasitikos could all then be exploited.