The waters east of Lefkada and around Kalamos are an important spawning area for epipelagic schooling fish (Somarakis et al. 2000, 2006a,b) and a nursery area for hake (Politou et al. 2006), making this Natura 2000 Site of Community Importance a candidate for special protection based on EC Regulations for the sustainable exploitation of fishery resources in the Mediterranean.
In addition to common dolphins, the area is home to a resident community of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. Endangered species such as monk seals Monachus monachus and loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta are also regularly sighted. All these species are included in Annex II to the Habitats Directive.
Fishery management measures are needed to reduce current over-exploitation, protect the local biodiversity, ensure continued ecosystem services, achieve sustainability, and allow for the recovery of endangered marine megafauna.
The Natura 2000 site GR2220003* in the Administrative Region of Ionia Nisia, Prefecture of Kefallinia.
* Commission Decision of 19 July 2006 adopting, pursuant to Council Directive 92/43/EEC, the list of sites of Community importance for the Mediterranean biogeographical region (notified under document number C(2006) 3261) (2006/613/EC). Official Journal of the European Union L 259/1 of 21.9.2006.
About the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment
Natura 2000 is a Community-wide network of nature protection areas established under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and Birds Directive 79/409/EEC. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
The responsibility for proposing sites for Natura 2000 lies with the Member States.
Natura 2000 marine areas will not necessarily be "no take zones", but zones where sustainable use of resources in an environmental friendly way is needed. For this reason they may require specific fishery management measures for the purpose of conservation of those species and habitats for which the site has been designated. Fisheries management measures in those areas should be decided in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy taking into account the principles of proportionality and non discrimination.
Details on the establishment of a marine network of conservation areas under Natura 2000 can be found in the Guidelines for the establishment of the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment. Application of the Habitats and Birds Directives.
The guidance document Introducing fisheries measures for marine Natura 2000 sites aims at facilitating the tasks of the Member State authorities and stakeholders when preparing and requesting fisheries management measures under the Common Fisheries Policy.