Reactions to expansion of fish farms – Peak impacts on tourism

Seas of Change: The Poros Summit on Industrial Fish Farming

Seas of Change welcomed on Poros 80 representatives from over 50 organizations in 14 countries and 4 continents. Together, they shared the dark reality of industrial fish farming, as well as proven strategies for contesting the unchecked expansion of industrial carnivorous fish farms across the globe. The summit was co-sponsored by the Rauch Foundation (US), Katheti (Greece), and Global Salmon Farming Resistance (Argentina) under the auspices of the Municipality of Poros and the Panhellenic Alliance for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Aquaculture, with Saronic Magazine being the media sponsor of the event.

Activists, scientists, regional, national and EU level politicians, journalists, and representatives from foundations, civil society organizations, and NGOs, as well as communities’ representatives from Greece, Chile, Tasmania-Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Norway, the UK and the United States attended the summit. The presentations and discussions highlighted several critical threats overlooked by both the EU and UN FAO in aquaculture regulation. Key concerns included:

  • The absence of a clear definition for “Sustainable Aquaculture” enables harmful practices like open-net pen carnivorous fish farms.
  • Regulatory gaps allow farms near sensitive environments, such as Posidonia meadows, with inadequate impact assessments and limited stakeholder input.
  • Climate change exacerbates risks, such as algae blooms and mass deaths of farmed fish.
  • Escaped farmed fish threaten wild populations, while pollution from fish farms, particularly plastics, is escalating.
  • Lack of transparency regarding feed sources, antibiotic use, and abandonment of fish farms further compounds environmental and health risks, demanding urgent regulatory attention.

During Seas of Change, a European Parliamentary question to the EU Commission was posed by MEP Petros Kokkalis regarding the unsustainable and environmentally harmful aspects of industrial fish farming. Following the summit, a press conference took place at Katheti with journalists from Greek media attending a presentation by the Rauch Foundation regarding the POAY plan and the destructive environmental, social and economic impact of the fish farming industry.

We want to express our gratitude to everyone who attended the Seas of Change events. We appreciate your dedication to addressing this critical environmental concern and and your ongoing commitment to protect the marine ecosystem.

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