The collaboration of Greek and American scientists to save the monk seal, and its relatives found in Hawaii, were the top issues discussed at a Conference organized by the Smithsonian Institution in cooperation with the Greek Embassy in Washington. The event took place at the Museum of Natural History in the American capital.
Professor Alexander Karamanlidis, Scientific Director of the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal “Mom” stated that, “The monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals of the planet. Its population, internationally amounts to 600, 350 of which live in the Aegean and Ionian Seas”.
“The program of cooperation with American scientists, funded by the U.S. government, aims to help save this species of seals worldwide”, added Professor Alexander Karamalidis. “The financial situation that exists in Greece, has inevitably affected initiatives such as the promotion of ”Mom”, said the Greek professor. However, all those willing to help, either by giving financial aid or offering to volunteer in terms of information and public awareness, can have access to it”.
”Mom”, a non-profit organization established for nearly two decades, aims to protect the marine ecosystem as a whole, and focuses on saving the loveable mammal. “Mom”, apart from scientific research, has undertaken to promote awareness of the monk seal in local societies and professional fishermen”, said Mr Karamanlidis . “Mom” is composed of qualified scientific personnel, while great importance is attached to the participation of volunteers”, he added.