On the occasion of the protected marine area of Gyaros talk to Parapolitical 90.1 and on the show “Airborne” with the journalist Niki Lymberakis the general director of WWF Greece, Dimitris Karavelas.
“Through a concerted effort of several years, a special environmental study was formed already in ’18, it was already formed in the ’18 draft of the presidential decree. In ’19 there was no presidential decree, then the first temporary measure of the ministerial decision went ahead. The ministerial decision at the time provided for special fishing licenses which was a proposal of all of you, the fishing licenses never worked and therefore in practice this three-year period was completely closed. The ministerial decision therefore provided for this special permit regime because this is an area that could be opened, this is how all the agencies had expressed their opinion, with very specific terms and conditions.” I specifically mentioned Mr. Karavelas.
“In the ministerial decision, there is no limitation on the size of the catch, the quantity of the catch, the duration of the fishing. It has not opened to amateur fishing and medium fishing, it has only opened to professional fishing, but what we know from the data is that there were boats not only from the Cyclades, there were also from the Dodecanese which came to fish in Gyaros”, he added.
“TELKETHE, from the samplings it has done so far, had actually recorded a very significant increase in the number of fish and the size of the catches, etc. One thing to tell you is that from the experimental samplings that were done they showed that there are from 2 to 6 times more fish and in weight than there are in neighboring areas which had no protection. So the creation of such areas is both an institutional obligation of the country but also in many areas it comes as a proposal and desire of the fishermen themselves who realize that this is one of the management measures that can work“, he added.
“Such systems are new systems for our country, while in many other European and Mediterranean countries they have existed for 10-15 years and are working and bringing very important results. Here it became apparent from the facts that the part that concerns the control is problematic, it is deficient and thus unfortunately we are faced with a dilemma which says either I open it and have it free or I close it. Under these circumstances it is probably better that the area remains closed until at least it can operate under this special permit regime.”he emphasized himself.
“These areas need an institutional regime that does not change from one day to the next, and this, based on the law and institutions, is the presidential decree and presidential decrees our country should have moved on for many years. Three marine protected areas in our country have presidential decrees and two of the three cases were done only with the whip and the threat of the European Commission“, he said closing.