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 tackle both the problems of a continuously increasing plastic pollution as well as of overfishing in the Aegean Sea.
A project of the Professional Fishing Association Amorgos and the artist Florian Reiche (DE/AT)
Tons of plastic and overfishing in the Aegean Sea.
As any cycladic island of the Aegean Sea, Amorgos is severely affected by marine pollution.
Every spring, after the strong winter winds, plastic waste accumulates in the bays exposed to the harsh storms. In most cases, these coasts are only accessible by sea. Unfortunately, there is no state provision for cleaning the coasts, no matter the way of getting there. The collection of the litter is vital at this particular period, because most of the plastic pieces are still visible. With the winds and the increasing sunlight, plastic disintegrates to the so-called microplastic, which is now invisible. It penetrates the cycle of nature and pollutes the flora and fauna, ultimately humans too.
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 mitigate the effects of both overfishing and pollution.
In order to give the shoals time for regeneration, the fishermen do not want to fish during April and May. In these months most fish species reproduce and this process should be given the necessary time. However, as fishing is how fishermen make a living, they still need a paid job to make ends meet during these months. The Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos have tried, through the Ministry of Rural Development, to obtain European Union funding specifically aimed at supporting marine life and fishing, so that the fishermen can still do all the work, with some compensation by using their boats, but to collect waste instead of fish. These efforts however have proven fruitless. The situation is urgent, so we the fishermen decided to take matters into our own hands.
Finding a sustainable way to put an end to the continuous degradation of the marine environment.
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 or even more fishing vessels. To achieve this alternative use of boats, our effort is channelled to finding all possible partnerships 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.
Our crowdfunding campaign is launched! Now we can all contribute to the effort of Amorgorama easily and fast. Note that there always will be the option to 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 (2021). Every euro of support increases our capacity for waste collection and Amorgorama’s impact on the island’s coasts and the marine life.
We don’t see AMORGORAMA as the ultimate solution to the problem, but as a pilot project to show how “thinking outside the box” can help solve a severe environmental problem.
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 showcase the positive effects of such a project as a pilot one, hopefully leading to its long-term financing 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 documented results will be made public, serving both the purposes of transparency and awareness.