Industrial-scale fish farms at Poros
The Areas of Organized Aquaculture Development (ΠΟΑΥ) are zones of exclusive activity of fish farms and other types of aquaculture. They occupy vast sea and land areas. Katheti, having joined forces with organizations that promote sustainable tourism, chose to raise the issue, because at this time it affects all of us. Industrial-scale fish farms at Poros are in the final stage of the approval process.
What does this mean for the island?
The technical study on industrial-scale fish farms at Poros forecasts the capture of 2.69 km2 at sea and 6 km2 on land. These areas will be used for the establishment of fish farms, fish hatcheries, packing and processing plants, net washing machines, roads, port facilities and more. Essentially, companies will manage about a quarter of the island.
At the same time, in this area, which includes forest and beaches, the possibility of developing any other activity is excluded.
The aim of the plant is to increase production to 8,831 tons per year, from the current 1,147 tons. This means burdening the surrounding area with 14.8 tons of feces per day, equivalent to a town of 33,500 inhabitants, food waste, medicines and landfill waste1.
There are other solutions
Surely such a unit will create some jobs. But it is not compatible with other professional activities that exist, or could be developed, and with other land uses. In addition, it degrades the central role of the island in marine tourism and generally, alters its touristic character2.
Industrial-scale fish farms at Poros could be combined with the model of fish farming tourism. Compared to this, however, sustainable tourism involves a greater variety of activities and concerns more types of professions. Therefore, it creates jobs in more sectors. In addition, it is addressed to a wider group of visitors.
In this way, the financial benefits stay locally. Local development is strengthened and the local population is maintained to a greater extent.
According to the database of the NTUA “Filotis”, Poros is a place in excellent natural condition, with important types of vegetation. It has been characterized as a Landscape of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its ecological, aesthetic, cultural and historical value, combined with a comprehensive action plan, offer much more potential for development than its industrialization.
So why should the island suffer such a degradation, when in fact even for the companies another solution is available?
The Institute of Marine Conservation “Archipelagos” points out that fish farms should be transferred to the open sea3. In addition, the load-bearing capacity must be compatible with the actual potential of each site and not be calculated on the basis of economic models. This approach, as a truly sustainable, environmentally and economically, fish farming model, has been applied for decades in many EU areas.
Let’s say no!
All these facts led the Municipality and many of the locals to strongly express their opposition to industrial-scale fish farms at Poros. But the prevention of such a plan requires the participation of all of us. Even a signature has power. All it takes is two minutes of our time to sign here.
We have a right to self-determination!