ISSUE OF POAY IN POROS

MEETING ON THE ISSUE OF P.O.A.Y IN POROS: THE FUTURE OF SARONIC GULF LOOKS BLEAK

A meeting on the issue of preventing the creation of Industrial Areas of Organized Aquaculture Development in the Saronic Gulf was held on Saturday 21.5.2022 in Poros, on the initiative of the Mayor of Poros, Giannis Dimitriadis. All Mayors and members of parliament (MP) of the Saronic islands and coasts, from west and south of Salamina to Hydra, as well as the Regional Governors and local Regional Vice - Governors of Attica and Peloponnese were invited to the meeting. However, the only ones that came were the Mayor of Epidaurus T. Chronis and the Mayor of Xeromeros G. Triandafyllakis (coordinator of the Panhellenic Coordinating Committee of fish farmingareas), the Regional Vice - Governor of Islands V. Bogri-Theodorakopoulou and MPs G. Giolas (Argolida/SYRIZA), Th. Dritsas (A'Piraeus/SYRIZA) and Chr. Boutsikakis (A' Piraeus/ND).In addition, the Mayor of Agistri G. Athanasiou, the Mayor of Aegina G. Zorbas andthe Mayor of Salamina G. Panagopoulos as well as the MP (A' Piraeus/ND) K. Katsafados, N. Manolakos and G. Mela informed that they could not attend the meeting due to unavoidable commitments. It is noted that Giannis Dimitriadis had initially invited the Regional Governor of Attica, G. Patoulis, to convene this meeting in Athens and as the Regional Governor did not do so, the Mayor of Poros took the initiative to convene it himself.

The following conclusions were reached:

1. The limited interest of the elected representatives of the regions of West & South Saronic Gulf on this issue, leads to the conclusion that there is no background and legitimacy for a jointfight with a common demand for the cancellation of the fish-industrialization plan of the Saronic Gulf.

2. The limited interest of the elected representatives of the coastal regions of the whole country, leads also to a similar conclusion regarding the fight for the amendment of Spatial Planning of Aquaculture.

3. The complete indifference of all Regions of the country, the Association of Greek Regions and the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece on this issue, reinforces the above conclusions and causes frustration regarding their role and the acceptance of their institutional marginalization.

4. No party has stated that it intends to amend this plan and no MP has put forward in public (not even during the meeting) specific proposals to address the issue.

5. Regarding its own region, the Municipality of Poros requests the complete cancellation of the plan for the creation of P.O.A.Y. and declares that the non-acceptance of the request is a casus belli for the local community and cannot be accepted. In case the government does not withdraw the plan immediately (before the national elections), our Municipality has declared that it will proceed to dynamic actions and total conflict in order to protect the island. In this context, the Municipal Council will first of all take a Decision to abstain from the national elections and declare all representatives of the Government, the Region and the Parliament as institutionally undesirable in our region. Also, the Municipality has already started a campaign (leaflets, banners, social media) to make its positions known.

6. In terms of joint actions, the Municipality of Poros reiterates its call to those municipalities that may wish to fight for preventing the creation of P.O.A.Y. in their own regions or for other "red lines" that they may identify (e.g.about the size of P.O.A.Y. or specific zones):
- Holding a meeting with the Prime Minister in June, in which any Municipalities participating will put forward their requests regarding their regions and ask for a clear answer as to whether these are acceptable. During the meeting in Poros, the MP of A’ Piraeus, Mr. Chr. Boutsikakis undertook to arrange this meeting and those MPs and Regional Governors who are interested in the issue are invited to support this effort and participate in the meeting.
- Any Municipality wishing to participate in th emeeting, should immediately inform the Municipality of Poros and specify in view of the meeting its demands.

Given theseriousness of this issue, the treatment of which should not be affected by the objective inability of some people to attend the meeting in Poros, the Municipality of Poros invites any Municipality and MP who may be interested in following, supporting and reinforcing the above actions, to inform the Municipality of Poros within two weeks.

It is noted that in the Saronic Gulf, the establishment of 5 P.O.A.Y is imminent (Salamina-Diaporia, Megara, Korfos-Epidaurus, Methana, Poros), through which the area of fish farming will increaseby 32 times and its production will be released after 5 years. Thus, the already polluted sea of the country, which is also an escape for 4 million inhabitants of the capital, will be transformed into a single industrial fish farming zone that will be the 1st fish producing area in Greece (whereas today it was 7th). This increase will result in a daily discharge of fish effluent into the sea corresponding to a human population of over 1.7 million people and tons of formalin, chemicals, foodwaste, etc. In fact, the above numbers do not include the data of individual fish farms, such as those in Agistri and Trikeri in Hydra. The above maritime areas, along with similar sized land areas, will be managed by the multinational company that now controls the Greek fish farming sector. Additionally, in these areas, packing plants, warehouses, private roads, port facilities and many more are about to be built in forests, coastal areas and beaches as well as in private sites that will no longer have other permitted uses.