BRIEF RESUME OF OUR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES IN GREECE, THE CYCLADES, THE IONIAN AND THE AEGEAN SEA
AEGEAN INSTITUTE AEGEAN DIVING COLLEGE OCTOPUS SEA TRIPS
SUBSEA SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL
“Natural and Cultural Treasures of the Aegean Sea”
We are a group of small private and non-profit field schools, a private company and organizations devoted to increasing ecological awareness of the marine environment and studying the unique ecology, biology, geology, archaeology, art and history of the Aegean Sea.
The Aegean Institute www.aegeaninstitute.org a not-for-profit organization, offers courses in underwater archaeology, marine biology, geology and ecology for study-abroad, interim high school/college/university students, interested individuals and groups with a special interest in these subjects.
The Aegean Institute is a beneficiary and proposer, in close cooperation with the Greek environmental organization, Mediterranean SOS www.medsos.gr for a development project regarding the establishment and management of a natural and cultural heritage network of marine and coastal areas around Paros and Antiparos (LIFE-Environment, NATURA 2000 cooperating with the Cycladic Municipalities of Paros, Naxos, Andros, Sifnos and Melos as partners-beneficiaries)
In June 2013, our company Subsea Scientific & Technical (SST) applied for two LIFE Nature programs, one for the Bay of Marathon and the other for 3 areas, Kefallonia island in the Ionian Sea,, Patroklos Isle, near Cape Sounion, off the Attica coast of Athens and the island of Despotiko, close to Paros-Antiparos, all Natura 2000 areas) to carry out field research and implement protection measures on Posidonia oceanica meadows, a priority habitat and Pinna nobilis, a priority species under protection within the meadows.
Our partners in these research programs are the National Observatory of Athens, (satellite images and mathematical models development), NCSR-Dimokritos, the National Nuclear Research Centre (all laboratory analyses) and the University of Patras (side-scan sonar & sub-bottom profiling surveys for mapping the boundaries of the Posidonia meadows)
All scientific and technical field work, sample taking as well as deployment of marker and mooring buoys are to be carried out by SST under the direction of Peter Nicolaides, Oceanographer-Biologist, Hyperbaric Physiologist, Offshore Engineer and Professional Diver since 1974.
Another field research program, Archimedes, has been under way since April 2013 , involving the in situ protection and conservation through cathodic protection, of several steel wrecks that attract many recreational divers from Greece and abroad thus generating much needed income for the islands in the Aegean Sea and specifically, the Cyclades. For this project, specialized custom underwater instrumentation was developed and constructed in Greece to measure corrosion rates, temperature, pH etc. This instrumentation has already been tested on wrecks and historical steel anchors around Paros and Naxos. The first interim report is due before the end of 2013. This program is a pre-cursor to a much larger international UNESCO funded program that will involve many wrecks within marine protected areas (MPAs). Our partners are from Canada, Australia, USA and Europe.
Aegean Diving College (ADC) www.aegeandivingcollege.gr & www.aegeandiving.gr caters for novice and advanced divers with a keen interest in marine ecology, underwater archaeology and wreck diving, geological and archaeological cave diving and underwater photography & videography. (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vLtF8Ykjs0&feature=related )
Octopus Sea Trips, an affiliated organization, www.octopuseatrips.com offers sea discovery programs for children, young people, families and schools.
The Aegean Centre for Marine Environmental Education (ACMEE-ΚΕ.ΘΑ.Π.Ε.Α-Κέντρο Θαλάσσιας Περιβαλλοντικής Εκπαίδευσης Αιγαίου) is involved in coordinating events to sensitise locals and visitors regarding the protection of coastal and marine ecosystems in theAegean.
For the past twelve years we have been actively involved in running a series of unique hands-on marine environmental education programs for schools on many islands of the Aegean Sea under the Greek State programs “O Mikros Naftilos” and “O Naftilos taxidhevi”, (Young Nautilus) sponsored by the Paedagogical Institute and the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Culture (“Elliniki Etairia”).
During these past years, we have been running Marine Environmental Education Programs (at pre-university ‘A’Level) on Paros, for English and German Schools visiting us from Athens : St.Lawrence College and the Montessori School of Naousa, Paros.
In the last 14 years, we have had a number of United States Universities and Colleges create special study-abroad programs inspired from our activities, awarding academic credits and held either here on Paros or on sail boats (sailing, diving, marine ecology, archaeology, marine protected areas management, geology, underwater photography)
The Isles of Greece! 2005: The Cyclades
The Isles of Greece! 2006: The Dodecanese
The Isles of Greece! 2007: The Ionian Islands
The Isles of Greece! 2008: The Southern Cyclades
The Isles of Greece! 2009: The Saronic and Argolic Gulfs
The Isles of Greece! 2010: The Northern Sporades
The Isles of Greece! 2011: The Southern Dodecanesehttp://islesofgreece.org/Cyclades
In 2012 we worked with the University of Arizona. Professor Eleni Hasaki leads the one-month summer school. Our mission statements and ideas are in total harmony even though we had never met before!
Our activities are mentioned in many major guides like the Lonely Planet, Guide du Routard, Petit Futé, Geo, Fodor’s and many other quality travel guides:
In December 11 & 12, 1999, Peter organized and ran a two day Conference on Paros, under the Aegean Institute flag, on Establishing a Network of Marine Protected Areas in the Aegean, funded by the Ministry of the Aegean. The large auditorium of “Archilochos of Paros” was packed on both days.
Many Greek renown environmental and academic specialists were invited and spoke, from the University of Athens, Dr.Persefone Megalofonou, expert on offshore fisheries and tuna, from the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research, HCMR, Dr Antonella Pancucci, expert on sea-urchins and sedentary benthic organisms, from the University of the Aegean, Professor Michalis Karydis, Head of the Marine Sciences & Environment Dept., on Marine Environmental Quality in MPAs, Methodology and Practices, from WWF Greece, Marine Environment specialist George Payiatas-
currently with WWF of Cyprus, on successful MPA case studies, Dr Papadopoulos, Environmental Specialist for Greek Schools, Ministry of Education, from the HCMR, the Head of Research, Dr Panos Panayiotides, Dr Vangelis Papathanasiou, head of the Oceanographic Institute, HCMR and several other experts, equally important in their fields.
ERT Satellite TV and National NET TV have repeatedly screened a documentary focusing on our activities in the series “Aighaio, nyn kai aei” (Aegaeum, Nunc et Semper). The name of the episode about us is”Vythos, paralliloi kosmoi”- The Seabed, Parallel Worlds.
In 2007, another two national and satellite TV programs were produced, presenting our work here in the Aegean (Focus, on national NET & ERT Satellite)
Since 1998, a few German TV channels have produced documentaries on our unique marine and underwater activities in Greece, specifically around Paros, Antiparos, Despotiko and Koufonissia-Small Cyclades: ARD, ZDF, ARTE, and Spiegel TV (the latter on the Battle of Lepanto where Peter was invited as a consultant)
In 1976, Peter Nicolaides, worked on the famous R/V Calypso with the Cousteau team and very often dived with Jacques-Yves Cousteau as his diving buddy both on the Britannic, sister ship of the Titanic and on the ancient precious art and antiquities carrying Roman ship that sank off the isle of Antikythera, around 50-60 BC.
The incredibly elaborate analogue computer, the by now famous Antikythera Mechanism was recovered from the wreck in 1902 and the Cousteau excavation carried out in 1976 yielded even more wonderful artefacts some of which Peter had located and brought up.
There is currently (April 2012-April 2013) a truly unique exhibition dedicated to the Antikythera Wreck at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens in which all bronze and marble statues, gold ware, coins and of course, the Mechanism recovered from the wreck are grouped together with excellent lighting and information, videos etc www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/
The year before that, in 1975, he was in charge of diving operations on a National Geographic Foundation expedition led by Peter Throckmorton and personally discovered the Bronze Age wreck of Dokos, the oldest wreck known to date.
In 1986, while teaching an EU funded programme in Marine Archaeology, Peter searched for, located and discovered the famous historical wreck of the Ottoman Fleet Flagship Burlota Seimaz commanded by Ottoman Admiral Kara-Ali, and blown-up by Constantine Kanaris, the renown Greek revolution hero, who later on became Prime Minister of Greece (and also related to the famous Von Kanaris, chief of the German WW2 counter-espionage service), off the island of Chios, in 1822.
This is a very impressive and completely untouched wreck, approximately 170m long by 50m wide, heavily laden with cannon and hoards of treasure looted by the Turks who had completely ransacked the affluent island of Chios and had carried all loot on the flagship. The Massacre at Chios (French: Scène des massacres de Scio) is the second major oil painting by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.
In 2003, he collaborated with the Universityof Triestein Italy, on the European Program Socrates MARE E VITA for the production of a teaching CD-ROM for schools, Il Mare Vive, on the commonestMediterranean Sea species of algae.
The Sunday Times of London, in the January 30th, 2006 issue, ran a page-long article (not an advertisement!) as did the Greek newspaper Kathimerini in the Sunday, 27th of February 2005 issue.
In February 2009, Peter Nicolaides was invited by National Geographic TV and WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) to participate in a series of documentaries about famous wrecks in Greece as a marine expert and former National Geographic and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Calypso diver. The series begins with a documentary on the sister ship of the Titanic, the Britannic, lying off Kea Island in 120m depth. Shooting was completed between May 18th and May 31st 2009 with a live broadcast sequel scheduled to be screened starting November 15th 2009 with Dr.Robert Ballard on the Research Vessel R/V Nautilus and Peter has been kindly invited to join the panel of experts.
In September 2009, Peter was invited by the TRAVEL CHANNEL to participate and present our unique field activities in a special TV program on Paros, hosted by Samantha Brown and broadcast around the world, reaching 87 million viewers.
During this episode Samantha visited the Greek Islands showing the viewers worldwide some of the things they might do if they choose Greece as a holiday destination. Paros was featured as one of the chosen destinations and Samantha, joining one of the underwater archaeological tours was a
highlight in the show and an ideal way to demonstrate some of the rich history and culture of the Aegean archipelago.
In September 2009 we were involved in shooting a promotional documentary for the Greek Tourist Organization about the unique wreck and cave diving in the Cyclades offered by us.
In October 2009, another documentary was shot about our activities around Parosand our involvement in the Calypso-Cousteau Britannic Expedition in 1976 by the Thalassa Programme, French TV, Channel 3, screened in the first week of December 2009.
In the spring of 2010, another documentary was scheduled to be shot about our activities on Paros by Tonia Buxton and her production team.(www.toniabuxton.co.uk ) Due to the present economic crisis, this documentary is deferred to the future.
As from the year 2011, a new chapter of cooperation began between Pierre-Yves Cousteau, the youngest son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and President of the Cousteau Divers Organization and Peter Nicolaides. Pierre-Yves is determined and destined to continue the work of Legend Jacques-Yves Cousteau who changed the way we think globally about the Earth and the Sea.
One of many plans for Greece, the Aegean Sea and the Cyclades is to assist in establishing a network of marine protected areas in the Aegean Sea and possibly fund-raising for the restoration and renovation of the Calypso that will hopefully roam the seas soon again and continue the quest for knowledge and the protection of the marine environment.
The first of these MPAs will be soon established around the coasts of volcanic Santorini where during the summer of 2011, a commemorative plaque for the work of J-Y Cousteau was placed on the seabed.
In 2012, the Greek film maker Omiros Evangelinos (“Toxic Crisis” & “Aegean Odyssey”, Thessaloniki and Halkis Film Festival Prizes) and our Aegean Diving College team have started shooting a documentary The “Aegean Sea” about the marine and coastal environment of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. In 2013 we will continue shooting in the spring and autumn in the Aegean as well planning on visiting marine protected areas in Italy on two Greek traditional caiques. During 2013, the shootings continued and in 2014 we plan to cover extensively the MPA developing in Santorini under the initiative and direction of Cousteau Divers (CD) and Pierre-Yves Cousteau, following the unanimous positive vote of the local professional fishermen’s union in November 2013.
Peter is the CD representative in Greece pursuing matters with central and local authorities, the local fishermen and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research.
In April 2013, TV5/France5 (PATLY Productions, Vu sur Terre) spent a week on Paros and Santorini, creating a high quality documentary, Mer Egee, about our unique approach to learning about the Aegean environment through science, art and the humanities, diving and marine research It was screened internationally at the end of August and beginning of September 2013. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_nx1Z17QXchNTFtZkhyRFdWTnM/edit?usp=sharing
On the 30th and 31st of March 2013, a Conference on Fisheries and Marine Protected Areas was organized on Paros and Peter invited several very important speakers: Maria Damanaki, the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Nikos Hrysogelos, EcoGreens Member of the European Parliament, Prof.Manel Gazo, advisor to the Cousteau Divers Organization and specialist on marine protected areas, Dr.Maria Salomidi, Oceanographer-Researcher at the HCMR (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research) who led the field research team to report on the marine environment in Santorini, Dimitri Zannes, a remarkable fisherman from Andros (representative of the Artisanal Fishers of Europe), WWF and GreenPeace. The event and interviews with all speakers was filmed by Omiros Evangelinos, in close cooperation with Peter, in preparation for the documentary about the Aegean Sea environment., Aegean Odyssey
Peter Nicolaides, President of the Aegean Institute and Director of the Aegean Diving College ran for Parliament as a Cyclades candidate in the national elections in Greece in 2007 with the European EcoGreens Party which is by now established as a new political party in Greece.
He also ran in the national elections on October 4th. 2009,doubling the votes cast in his favour in 2007.
(see broadcast video message online http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFji27hXqI4 and site
For the European & local government elections in May 2014 he ran as a candidate with the Parian KEP-OSA.
Peter is a very experienced professional/commercial diver with worldwide experience, an offshore & coastal engineer, a hyperbaric physiologist (high pressures,diving) and a biologist-oceanographer.
All program themes and activities offered, have always proven to be a deeply moving experience remembered for life, for anybody with a passion for learning and adventure, ancient and modern Greek culture, classics, philosophy, prehistory, history and language, etymology, marine ecology, biology, geology, underwater archaeology, Greece, Cyclades and the Aegean Sea!
Oceanographer, Offshore & Coastal Engineer
Representative of the Cousteau Organization in Greece, Coordinator, Marine Protected Areas Initiative, Cyclades-Aegean
Aegean Institute www.aegeaninstitute.org
Golden Beach, Paros 84401,
mob.+30 693 228 9649
+30 693 275 7123
tel./fax +30 228 404 3347, fax : 210 958 7237
Athens : (end Nov.- end Feb.)
39, Parthenon Street, Acropolis,
+30 210 922 6510 fax: +30 210 958 7237
Skype name: peter.nicolaides