Loyal to its commitmnet to Alonissos fishers, Thalassa Foundation organized a new cycle of participatory workshops, on 14, 15 and 16 of November in Alonissos. These workshops were a follow up of the first ones held on 17 and 18 October, during which the coastal fishers had highlighted 4 main themes, which they prioritised in relation to the sustainability of their profession and the conservation of fish stocks in their area of activity. These themes were the guarding of the Alonnisos Marine Park, the improvement of the informationon on issues of their concern, their access to the market and the control of illegal recreational fishing.
As had been pointed out, the process was not completed with the mapping of the issues, but continued with the recent workshops, during which the next crucial step was taken, which was to analyse them in depth and plan the course for the implementation of specific and immediate actions. Based on the above, each of the themes that had emerged was developed in a separate workshop, in order to decide on immediate steps and initiatives for the empowerment of Alonissos coastal fishers and give them the appropriate directions. For this reason, in the open workshops of November, representatives of the Development Company of Kavala S.A., the Development Company of Pelion S.A., the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, but also the fishing community outside Alonissos were invited to participate in the open workshops and they contributed critical information on funding programmes, alternative forms of fishing, such as fishing tourism, recent legislative developments and scientific studies concerning the fishing industry.
The fishers of Alonissos, who recently elected the new Board of their Association, participated in the workshops with genuine interst and made some important decisions for the future of the profession and and their place. For starters, they decided to participate in the guarding of the marine park through their Association, in order to protect its fish stocks and ensure that fishing activity is carried out in accordance with the law. At the same time, it was decided to strengthen the Alonissos Fishers Association, through the renewal of its communication tools, the intensification of its networking with institutions, businesses and other fishing associations, its continuous information on funding programmes and its activation for the prospect of the certification of the fish fished in the Alonissos National Marine Park.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that duting the workshop on recreational fishing, the participants were informed about the forthcoming legislative regulations concerning the reintroduction of the recreational fishing licence and the creation of an electronic register for fishing activity, and both professional and amateur fishers of Alonissos agreed that this is a necessary measure and a step in the right direction.
Thalassa Foundation would like to thank all those who enthusiastically participated in the workshops for their interest and for their important contribution to the planning of a more sustainable coastal fishery in the Alonissos Marine Park.