31 August 2013

Fishing boat deserving protection

The impact on the marine ecosystem of this kind of beautiful artisanal fishing boats is negligible. These days, the fish one can hope to catch with a 4 or 5 m long wooden boat provides, at best, an occasional frugal meal to be consumed by the fisherman's family.

As the fish stocks declined due to overfishing by commercial fleets, the small traditional boats have themselves declined. Skilled artisans able to work with wood and repair them are rare, and fibreglass has become the standard.

Small wooden boats should be regarded as a part of Greece's (and other coutries') cultural heritage. Instead of subsidizing commercial fleets that cause devastation, Mediterranean policy makers should consider investing in the protection of small-scale fishermen who operate this kind of small and harmless boats. That would promote beauty, tradition and sustainability at once.

(Photo by S. Bonizzoni, Itea, Greece)

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