The mussel farms are located north-east of the river Axios mouth, which forms an extensive delta, together with the rivers Aliakmon, Loudias and Gallikos (a Ramsar Wetland named “Axios, Loudias, Aliakmon Delta”). The nearest town is Chalastra in Delta Municipality. The facility is close to the National Highway (A1), which runs from Athens to Thessaloniki, with the nearest exit at around 5 km from the site.
Water source and quality
The sea substrate in the Thermaikos gulf ranges from silt and clay at the North and the West areas, to sand and silt at the South and East areas of the gulf. The temperature of the water varies between a maximum of 27 - 28 oC in the summer and a minimum of 7 - 8 oC during wintertime. There is no freezing occurrence around the mussel farm area. Concerning the hydrodynamics of the area, the sea currents direction and velocities are wind-driven in the mussel culture area where the prevailed winds are northwest during winter while in summer prevail the southwest winds. A huge influence in the hydrodynamics of the gulf turns up to be the four rivers discharges into the sea, along the west shoreline.
Water quality at the site varies and depends on the various activities that take place in the drainage basins (agriculture, industrial activities, urbanization, tourism) and also on the ones that take place in the marine area (navigation, mussel culture, fisheries). The water quality of the inner Thermaikos gulf (bay of Thessaloniki) and in a lesser extend the south- east costal zone, present eutrophic to mesotrophic conditions (>2,00mg/m3 chl-a, 0.60 – 2.00 mg/m3 chl-a), while the mussel culture area presents oligitrophic conditions (<0.10 mg/m3 chl-a). Data taken from the ARCHIMEDES II Project of ATEITH (2006-2007) entitled: “Water circulation in mussel culture areas and environmental management practices”.
The climate is of Mediterranean type with hot and dry summers and cold humid winters. The average annual temperature is 14 oC. The hottest month is July with maximum temperature 25 oC. The coldest month is February with minimum temperature 5 oC. The contribution of rainfall presents high variation. The mean annual precipitation is up to 55 mm. Winds of North/Northwest direction predominate mainly during winter (information taken from Hellenic National Meteorological Service www.hnms.gr).
The nearest town is Chalastra in Delta Municipality. The facility is close to the National Highway (A1), which runs from Athens to Thessaloniki, with the nearest exit at around 5 km from the site. The closest international airport to Chalastra in Thessaloniki is the Macedonia International Airport (about 23 km).