Repeated and provocative illegal fisheries malpractice in Greek territorial waters by large Turkish fishing vessels (trawlers), has been recorded by Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation off Samos island in collaboration with fishermen in the area, on the 9th and 11th of September 2013.

This pirate fishing is not the first recorded incident of its kind, as such incidents have been recorded in past years in the eastern Aegean, between mid-August and late September. In this case, however, it is the fact that the Turkish vessels engaged in illegal fishing, staying for long periods of time within national waters, close to coastal settlements and during the day. It should be noted that in this specific zone it is a no-trawling zone even for Greek trawlers.

Despite the provoking and illegal activity of Turkish vessels, there was an unjustified delay in the intervention by the local port authorities. This was in spite of repeated reports and complaints, both from the Archipelagos Institute and the fishermen of the area.

The dramatic situation of fish stocks show that the future of fishing in the Aegean Sea is uncertain and the sustainability of ecosystems is critical. There is no longer any room for further pirate fishing, by the Greek and more so by foreign fleets.

We expect the response of port authorities to be more efficient from now on, in order to address such provocative illegal fishing activities that are causing irreversible damage to the marine ecosystems.