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Greek islanders dismayed by way of plan to scale up fish farming

POROS, Greece: At the sunny quay of the picturesque Greek island of Poros, veteran fisherman Spiros Papaioannou makes no bones about drawing close plans to amplify fish farming. “We don’t need them on our island,” the rubber-booted guy in his seventies grumbled whilst cleansing his nets. “We fishermen are going to be chased away, that’s needless to say,” he mentioned. Greek-Spanish workforce Avramar, which gifts itself as the sector’s main manufacturer of Mediterranean fish, already operates a number of fish farms in Poros.

The Greek state has lengthy deliberate to make the Saronic Gulf island of three,000 population close to the Peloponnese peninsula some of the nation’s best aquaculture websites for sea bream and sea bass, which basically finally end up at French and Italian eating places. In the end, fish farms would duvet 1 / 4 of the island, 600 hectares on land and 269 hectares at sea. A Mediterranean nation with greater than 15,000 kilometers (9,300 miles) of beach, Greece is raring to increase its aquaculture trade and has earmarked 25 websites for fish farm set up. The Ecu Union has allotted 92 million euros ($101 million) to advertise aquaculture in Greece by way of 2027.

Consistent with the Hellenic Aquaculture Manufacturers Group (HAPO), the trade in 2021 noticed a seven % building up in quantity to 131,000 lots. In Poros, annual manufacturing would building up eightfold to greater than 8,800 lots from 1,100 lots recently over the following 5 years, in line with native undertaking managers POAY Poros. Poros mayor Yannis Dimitriadis is amongst the ones adverse to the initiative, which he says will endanger the island’s current tourism trade. “Sure to maritime tourism, no to fish farming”, learn a banner striking from the Poros cultural centre construction. Poros “is 95 % dependant on tourism, at once or not directly,” Dimitriadis instructed AFP.

POROS, Greece: An aerial photograph presentations fish farms at the Poros Island, on July 5, 2023. Greek-Spanish workforce Avramar already operates a number of fish farms in Poros. – AFP

Provoking the stability “We’re going to change into an commercial zone, calling into query the entire stability of our economic system”, added the mayor, who claims to have already two times met High Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to provide an explanation for his opposition to the undertaking. Contacted by way of AFP, the Avramar workforce, which accomplished a turnover of 157 million euros in 2021, didn’t want to supply main points. “The undertaking is in a initial segment. On the other hand, we will guarantee you that we’re dedicated to transparency and can proportion updates once we’re ready to take action,” the gang mentioned in a commentary. Consistent with POAY Poros, the Greek state is anticipated to approve the undertaking by way of November 2024.

‘Now not Mykonos’ With its pastel-colored constructions and oleander and bougainvillea-filled squares, Poros gifts itself as a a ways cry from the mega resort fashion. “We don’t need to be Santorini or Mykonos,” defined Magdalena Iwaszko, proprietor of a small resort close to the island port. “Vacationers come right here to loosen up… the established order of fish farms would have huge environmental penalties. No person desires aquaculture right here,” she mentioned. Poros’ merit is “crystal transparent waters and an untouched coast,” the hotelier argues. The ocean off the northern a part of Poros is dotted with huge floating cages. “I’m really not (essentially) adverse to fish farms,” mentioned fisherman Tasos Ladas, acknowledging that Greek seas are “being emptied of fish 12 months after 12 months” a method or every other.

“They’re a vital evil. Nevertheless it must be carried out as it should be, with strict protocol and controls—and no longer in vacationer spaces,” the fisherman famous. Mayor Dimitriadis could also be anxious in regards to the setting, arguing that the top focus of fish in small basins encourages illness. He’s additionally eager about the potential for fish waste and administered medication and chemical substances, corresponding to formaldehyde. “All this then spreads into the ocean,” he says. Fish farms deny those accusations, insisting that protective the surroundings and making sure fish well being are very important to their trade. – AFP

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