Greek fishermen recently launched an initiative to prevent marine pollution and protect fish stocks. The ”Amorgorama” initiative seeks to adopt and manage a more sustainable way of dealing with marine pollution and overfishing in the Aegean.
The program is an initiative of the Professional Association of Fishermen of Amorgos. It includes the abstinence of local fishermen from fishing during the breeding months and the participation of their fleet in coastal clean-up operations to deal with marine pollution. In order to achieve the objective, the cessation of fishing in the months of April and May by all commercial and recreational fishing vessels is required.
Local fishermen deeply concerned with marine pollution
During the inauguration of the of the fishing shelter in Xilokeratidi Katapola in Amorgos, Greece on Monday, the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Food, Mr. Simos Kedikoglou, referred to the reduction of fish stocks and marine pollution as among the most critical issues in terms of fishing and the environment. According to Kedikoglou, the ”Amorgorama” initiative must be implemented on all Greek islands.
The Deputy Minister described the local fishermen as role models because they are deeply concerned about the future of the environment which will be inherited by future generations.
“One of the problems of our seas is the reduction of fish stocks,” he said, ” and the pollution of our seas. So, when Michalis Crosman, representing the fishermen’s association, visited me at the Ministry, to inform me about the initiative they have undertaken together with the mayor, I was convinced that the program should act as a model for all of Greece.”
“What is happening in Amorgos must [serve as] a model for all the islands, for all the coasts of our country,” Kedikoglou added.
Fishermen in Amorgos as an example for Greece and Europe
The purpose of the Amorgorama program was first presented last December at a meeting between the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Food, Simos Kedikoglou; the Mayor of Amorgos, Lefteris Karaiskos; and the President of the Professional Association of Fishermen of Amorgos, Michalis Krosman.
During the meeting, the mayor of the island stressed the importance of the program for the local community and the necessity of preserving the traditional profession of coastal fishing and dealing with marine pollution. He pointed out that it is of vital “importance in the economy and especially in the economy of a small island like Amorgos.”
He also added that “we want Amorgos to become a role model not only for our country but also for Europe.”
Kedikoglou expressed his full support for the initiative, saying that Amorgos should serve as an example for all of Greece. He also referenced the fishing tourism promoted by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the creation of an international campaign.
“I would like Amorgos to be a component of the advertising campaign together with my special homeland of North Evia, which was tested by the fires,” he said. “They are two areas that I would like to be at the forefront of this campaign.”
Great results for marine environment
Kedikoglou highlighted that the program is tackling marine pollution with exceptional results. He also highlighted the fact that within a month, the fishermen of the program “managed to collect more than twelve tons of marine waste.”
In spring, fishermen who participated in the program allowed themselves twenty-eight less fishing days in order to address the problem of overfishing. Instead, they organized eleven clean-up operations from Nagavio Beach in Kato Meria to Megali Vlychada Beach in Aigiali.
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