Marine Ecosystem Protection and Regeneration
Argolicorama 2022: An AEF-led Project
Project Status: 2022 – COMPLETED
Total Budget: €15,000
Blue Marine Foundation contribution: €5,000
In May of 2022, sixteen professional fishers of Spetses opted to leave their nets behind and head to sea for a different reason: to clear the more inaccessible beaches of Spetses from waste and marine litter.
“Argolicorama 2022” was an AEF-led initiative co-funded by Blue Marine Foundation and an effort to replicate the success of “Amorgorama”, a similar program designed and implemented in Amorgos by the Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos.
Through Argolicorama, over 50 individual fishing sorties were avoided during the height of the spawning season for many marine species. This means that many hundreds of kilos of egg-laden fish that would ordinarily be caught and removed from the ecosystem were given the space to reproduce.
The program also provided an opportunity for professional fishers of Spetses – who currently do not have a formal association – to unite and work towards a common goal in close partnership with the AEF. Over a period of five days marine waste was cleared from the majority of the beaches and coves of Spetses that are only accessible by sea. The material collected was enough to fill 4 small trucks and included 11 large marine buoys, discarded fishing nets and many other items large and small. For most of the fishers, this was the first such program they had taken part in.
Beyond raising awareness about the problem of plastic waste, the program sparked an ongoing discussion among the fishers of Spetses about re-forming the local fishers’ association.
“We fishers united, we put certain issues that we may have aside, and the results were apparent to us, but above all in the landscape of our island,” said Argyris Syrmas, the coordinator of the effort on the part of the fishers.
Moving forward, the AEF will popularise the effort through the release and screening of a short video about the campaign. It will also offer practical support to the effort to create a formal fishers’ association on Spetses.