Reactions to expansion of fish farms – Peak impacts on tourism

Statement from Katheti Founders on Fish Farms

June 1st, 2023

Katheti* was founded in 2017 to vitalize and support the sustainable development of Poros, Troizinia and Methana – a region our families have lived in for centuries. Unfortunately, the catastrophic POAY** plan for industrial fish farms to occupy 25% of the Poros coastline and land required Katheti to refocus defensively to protect our threatened environment.

In 2020, the Poros Municipal Council unanimously voted against the POAY plans. This opposition was submitted to the Ministry of Environment during the public consultation period but was ignored. Many meetings and efforts followed only to be met with unfulfilled promises and a vague statement to delay the expansion. If not for the vote expressing the will of the people, what stronger power does a small island community have to oppose?

Over the past nine months, Katheti, in partnership with the Rauch Foundation, commenced a series of research efforts to help understand and educate the community about the industrial fish farm expansion in our region, across Greece and in many similar coastal communities around the world, where it creates unrest. A number of enlightened countries have already banned industrial fish farms in open marine net pens such as those on Poros – these success stories include Argentina, the Falkland Islands, and, in the US, the states of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Our campaign to share this information launches the first week of June 2023.

The environment is at the core of everything valuable – our health, our inspiration, our respect for wildlife, the well-being of our community and the future our children will experience. The benefits of the fish farms to the Poros community are none. The net value to Greece overall is negative as many more livelihoods will be lost than quality jobs created, let alone the immense ecological damage.

With gratitude, we recognize our many partners globally who contribute to this effort via their knowledge, network and media assets – the Rauch Foundation, One-Earth.it, the Global Salmon Farming Resistance (The GSFR), Patagonia, Grain.org, Living Oceans, the Neighbors of Fish Farms (NOFF), Green Tank, Ozon NGO, Curious PR, Conscience Consulting, Committee to Fight Fish Farming in Xiromero and Kalamos – Kastos against the P.O.A.Y. of Echinades islands and Aetoloakarnania, and many individuals who volunteer their time and expertise. At the same time, we commend the members of our community and others throughout Greece who courageously voice their outrage and warnings in face of a powerful and guarded industry.

Katheti calls for the immediate removal of the fish farms from the small, beautiful, popular touristic island of Poros.

We ask the government stop the expansion of fish farms and re-examine the incomplete and overly aggressive plans of the POAY.

Fay Orfanidou and Eva Douzinas

How you can help:

  1. Share our research and messages on your social media and with family and friends
  2. Sign the petition to remove Poros from the POAY plans
  3. Demand information and action from your political leaders – in and outside of Greece. This crisis is shared by communities across Europe and the world.

* As policy, Katheti does not endorse any political candidate or party. Katheti collaborates with the island’s elected government of all sides, other non-profit institutions, and local associations for the wellbeing of our local area.

**Established in 2011, the Π.Ο.Α.Υ (P.O.A.Y.) is a Greek acronym for “Περιοχή Οργανωμένης Ανάπτυξης Υδατοκαλλιεργειών” or in English, “Areas of Organized Development of Aquaculture Activities”. The POAY expands the areas of allowed aquaculture by 25x across Greece, giving massive swaths of the country’s coastline to the control of private, mostly foreign, companies. More details can be found here.

Join Katheti’s work!

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