Poseidon: A marine environmental monitoring, forecasting and information system for the Greek seas
The scope of this work is twofold: i) to discuss and analyze some principles, issues and problems related to the development and advancement of Operational Oceanography in Greece and ii) to present a real-time monitoring and forecasting system for the Aegean Sea, which is currently under implementation. Operational Oceanography in Greece has become a necessity today, since it can provide aid to find solutions on problems related to societal, economic, environmental and scientific issues. Most of the Greek coastal regions are under pressure, susceptible to damages due to the increasing tendency of the population to move from the inland to the coast, marine environmental pollution, competitive development of the coastal market sector, etc. Moreover, the complex geomorphology of the coastal areas and the interdependence between natural processes and human activities causes significant alterations in this delicate environment. A rational treatment of these problems can be based on integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). An absolutely necessary means for establishing ICZM is the operation of marine moni- toring systems. Such a system ("POSEIDON system") is under implementation by the National Centre for Marine Research. POSEIDON is a comprehensive marine monitoring and forecasting system, that aims to improve environmental surveillance and facilitate sea transport, rescue and safety of life at sea, fishing and aquaculture, protection of the marine ecosystem, etc. POSEIDON is expected to enhance considerably the capabilities to manage, protect and develop the marine resources of the Greek Seas and to promote Greek Operational Oceanography.