8th Regional Stakeholder Group Meeting in Kavala
On the 5th of May 2022, the Municipality of Kavala held a Regional Stakeholder Group Meeting in the Naval Museum of Kavala, gathering multiple stakeholders relevant to the CHERISH scope. The meeting aimed to inform the fishermen of the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, part of which is the city of Kavala, on applied good practices in marine ecology, fisheries management, and the cooperation actions between fishermen and fishing areas.
The event was not just informative. It is most particularly aimed at deepening the knowledge of the good practices shared in the previous months and the exchange of knowledge between different stakeholders who are active in fisheries but come from various sectors of public, private and academic spaces. One particular practice was selected as it was also assessed as a good practice for the entire Interreg Europe Program. This could not be other than the efforts of the NGO Enaleia, eager to tackle the reduction of fish stock and the plastic sea pollution by promoting a sustainable marine ecosystem. Encelia is operating multiple projects, including educating fishing communities on practices that preserve local fish populations and remove the mounds of plastic that pollute the world’s seas, adapting the fishing industry for a green future. In addition, Enaleia has a manager responsible for each collaborating port who collects the amounts of marine plastic bycatches that each fishing boat brings to the port, sorts it depending on the litter's type and stores it in special containers we have placed at each operational location. Afterwards, the most significant portion of the collected marine plastic is promoted for recycling or upcycling into new products with our network's certified partners, integrating it into the circular economy. You can learn more about Enaleia’s projects here!
The participant stakeholders, fishers and their representatives, policymakers and politicians, and representatives of the public sector as the Chamber of Commerce, the Port Authority and the public benefit organization, discussed matters of marine ecology, including information on the importance of the sea, the food chain, the energy transfer within food chains and the importance of various ecosystems and dominant ecosystems in Greek waters. Moreover, in the section on fisheries management, they had the opportunity to cover the sections on sustainable long-term use of fish stocks and explain concepts such as Common Fisheries Policy. The fishermen, in particular, of the area, were enthusiastic about this presentation as the representatives of Enaleia combined both the theoretical knowledge and -being fishermen themselves- the practical applications as well.
Jointly with the practices of Enaleia, the CLLD of Kavala in the sector of fisheries introduced a couple of new projects that are to be initiated in the next couple of months. The importance of this presentation lies in the fact that there are introduced new actions that blend fishing with tourism. In particular, the Development Agency of Kavala presented a project that has to do with responsible fishing during the processing of fishery products with the main aim of developing fishing tourism. For this purpose, the partners will pilot certification of small coastal octopus trawler fishing vessels in the North Aegean, engage with actions to promote responsible fishing and conduct actions to highlight the nutritional value of selected catches from intervention areas. In addition, and in particular, for the development of fishing tourism in the area.
Finally, the importance of those initiatives was verified by the participation at the Regional Meeting of the representative of Petritis eco museum (Fb). The Ecomuseum is a point of convergence between place and people that endeavours to create an integrated whole made up of parts. It is not a conventional museum, but it highlights routes along which visitors can learn more about the life and features of the place they visit. The Petritis Eco-Museum, a project initially funded by Interreg Greece – Italy, aims to highlight the marine and coastal heritage of South Corfu by focusing on the fishing village of Petriti, the Korisson Lagoon and the Lefkii alt flats, areas rich in tangible and intangible cultural heritage, verifying the interaction of local communities with the marine and coastal environment through time. We were honoured to have the representatives participating at the meeting as the area of Kavala and Corfu bear remarkable similarities.
These networking activities continue as the next meeting is already scheduled in Kavala on the 6-7 of June!