Greek trench: new letter from organizations against seismic surveys

In a letter to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, nine environmental organizations and institutions, including WWF, Greenpeace and the Ornithological Society of Greece, responsibilities undertaken by the government in the context of the 9th International Conference on Oceans held in Athens two months ago.

Regarding the commitment to create two new national marine parks in the Ionian and the Aegean, the organizations point to the need for transparent procedures and conservation measures based on the ecological needs of the areas.

Regarding the new Ionian National Marine Park, which covers a significant part of its ecologically significant area Greek trenchthe letter calls on the government to ban them seismic surveys hydrocarbons and for use of sonar during military exercises.

They also require the regulation of the movement of ships to avoid collisions those who blow and other marine mammals.

The organizations warn that without conservation measures to protect important and threatened marine species, the new marine parks will remain only on paper.


They also call for a ban on trawlers in marine protected areas, based on an integrated just transition plan for the fishing industry involving fishermen and other stakeholders.

They also seek assurances that trawling efforts will not be diverted to other areas of high ecological value.

Finally, the letter suggests the need to implement Greece’s existing Natura 2000 network commitments to establish conservation measures for marine areas and establish marine spatial planning.

At the same time, it is noted that the prime minister has committed to complete the ongoing process towards the establishment of conservation measures for the territories at the World Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to be held in Marseille from September 2021. 2000 of the Natura network. But this commitment remains unfulfilled, they report.

They add that failure to comply with these critical EU commitments puts the protection of the marine environment at risk and exposes the country to further censure at the international and European level and by the EU’s Court of Justice, while rendering the recently adopted commitments ineffective. International Oceans Conference.

The letter was also signed by iSea, MEDASSET, Blue Sea Foundation, Cyclades Conservation Fund (CPF), Thalassa Foundation and Pelagos Cetological Research Institute.

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