Project Amorgorama by
In cooperation with the artist Florian Reiche (DE/AT).
With the project Amorgorama the Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos aims to find a sustainable approach to cope with the problems of the continuously increasing pollution of the coasts by plastics as well as the overfishing in the Aegean Sea.
A project of the Professional Fishing Association Amorgos and the artist Florian Reiche (DE/AT)
Tones of plastic and overfishing in the Aegean Sea.
As any cycladic island of the Aegean Sea, Amorgos is severely affected by marine pollution every year.
In the spring, after the strong winter winds, plastic waste accumulates in the bays exposed to the harsh storms. In most cases, the collection is only possible from the sea. Unfortunatly, there is no concern and by extension no funding for cleaning the coasts neither from the sea, nor from the land. The collection of the garbage is vital at this time, because most of the plastic pieces are still at a visible size. With the surf, the winds and the increasing sunlight, plastic flotsam becomes a so-called microplastic. As such, it penetrates the cycle of nature and pollutes the flora and fauna, ultimately humans.
In addition to the pollution of the sea and the bays, in the Aegean Sea there is also the problem of overfishing. Fishermen were the first to recognize the problem and are now looking for a solution. The Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos presented a concept years ago to the Ministry of Rural Development in Greece to encounter both overfishing and pollution.
In order to give the shoals time for regeneration, the fishermen do not want to fish in April and May. In these months most fish species reproduce and this process should be given the necessary time. Nevertheless, as fishing is the main occupation of fishermen, they need a paid job to make ends meet during these months. Althought the Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos have tried, through the Ministry of Rural Development, to obtain European Union funding specifically aimed at supporting maritime life and fishing, so that the fishermen can be paid for using their boats, the efforts have been fruitless.Therefore, due to the urgency of the situation, as fishermen we decided to take matters into our own hands.
Finding a sustainable way to cope with the situation.
Our goal as fishermen of Amorgos is to stay away from fishing in April and May and to focus on collecting garbage from the northern beaches with our Kaiki. To achieve this alternative use of boats, we try to activate all possible ways of partnership with the local community as well as with the international community and finding resources from both European / Greek programs but mainly from civil society through crowdfunding.
In a few months, the crowdfunding campaign will be launched so that we can all contribute to the effort of Amorgorama. Until then, anyone can make a donation directly to the Association’s bank account. Regardless of the amount raised, the project will be implemented by the fishermen this spring. Needless to say that the greater the amount, the more fishermen will go for garbage picking and the greater the impact Amorgorama will have on the island’s coasts and the maritime life.
We don’t see AMORGORAMA as the ultimate solution to the problem, but as a pilot project to show how we can confront environmental conditions in the future with innovative concepts.
From the pilot project to a sustainable, altered definition of the fishermen’s profession.
The vision is to adapt the fishing profession to make the best use of local resources and infrastructure to deal with the existing situation. The project will show what positive effects such a project can have in order to optimise this concept in the future and to finance it in the long run with national and/or European funds. For this reason, the actions of the fishermen will be documented in spring 2021. At the same time, the documentation makes the project transparent and shows what has been made possible with the money raised.