Destructive and illegal fisheries can no longer be tolerated. They steal a common resource from the local communities and future generations. As a result of their actions sustainable fishermen go out of business, dolphins and seals starve, certain fish stocks approach the risk of collapse and consumers will soon find it too expensive to afford fish products.

Unfortunately Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fisheries are widespread in many parts of Greece. They apply a wide range of fishing practises, varying from trawlers and purse seiners that fish out of limits to dynamite fishing, spear fishing while scuba diving and catching endangered and protected species.


With the aim of combating IUU fisheries in the Greek seas, Archipelagos has formed the Fisheries Observatory. This network of local communities and fishermen provides valuable, confidential information about IUU activities in their area. The data is verified by the Archipelagos researchers as well as relevant regional and national authorities. The reports are later compiled and sent to the appropriate Greek and EU authorities.

It is very encouraging to observe an increase in cooperation from fishermen, local communities and visitors of coastal regions. This is developing a sense of responsibility for the health of the seas and fish stocks and is a prerequisite for the sustainable use of the seas to ensure viable fisheries for the future.

Latest News

Anastasia Miliou, Hydrobiologist & Head Scientist of Archipelagos, IMC and the OCEAN2012 coalition issued the following statement as the European Commission published its proposal for the next fisheries subsidies instrument, the European Fisheries and Maritime Fund (EFMF). “In 2008 the European Commission identified overcapacity as one of the primary drivers of overfishing, and public subsidies as
We, the undersigned organisations, representing artisanal coastal and inland fishworkers, development and environmental NGOs and other stakeholders, share a common interest in placing European fisheries on a sustainable footing by supporting the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in ways which ensure the recovery of fish stocks and habitats, the promotion of best practice,
160 groups from 17 EU member states have signed the declaration ahead of a European Parliament hearing on October 11th on how the proposed CFP reform will affect artisanal fishers. The majority of EU fishers are coastal and artisanal and often work in a less intensive manner, using a range of seasonally diverse fishing methods
This decision is a breath of fresh air for the depleted marine ecosystems of Greece, as well as vindication of Archipelagos’ efforts since 2008. These efforts have focused on taking action at both national and European levels for the retraction of the decision made by the former Fisheries Deputy Minister Mr Kontos (164198/03-03-08). A quick
During the morning of the 19th August 2011, a local and professional fisherman from Koufonisia Islands was seriously injured by dynamite while attempting to carry out dynamite fishing off of the Koufonisia Islands. The use of illegal explosive materials is an on going problem within many small fishing communities in areas of the Aegean Sea and
One member of Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation is already on board the ship ‘M/Y Steve Irwin’, that sailed from southern France towards the Libyan Sea and the wider area of the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, members of Archipelagos’ research team will patrol the Greek and international waters on their sailing vessel and
Archipelagos’ researchers follow the fishermen’s demanding time schedule, often during adverse weather conditions, under which their fishing activities take place. The researchers record the production and catch composition (both those fished legally, and those caught illegally) as well as record the prohibited and destructive fishing practices implemented in the region. This research aims to create
Archipelagos, the only Greek organization that took part in the workgroup meeting and is deeply involved with illegal fishery issues in Greece, was represented by Anastasia Miliou (Head Scientist & Manager) and Vasilis Kouroutos (Scientific consultant and Marine Protected Areas specialist). The agenda of the meeting included ways of utilizing the information and data collected
The letter stressed that the new ministerial decision will meet the requirements of the Mediterranean regulation (1967/2006), to ensure the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks and protect the environment. This means that fishing with towed gears (trawlers) will only be allowed at longer distances set by the EC 1967/2006 (1.5 miles minimum distance from the
During yesterday’s session of the EU fisheries council in Luxembourg, concerning the issue of reducing the quota for bluefin tuna, the Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs, Islands & Fisheries, Mr. Yannis Diamantidis, maintained a negative and intransigent stance. This reflects the contemporary Greek “political culture” of servicing short-term interests, regardless of consequences. Three weeks before
A scheduled meeting was held in late June aboard the vessel ‘’Steven Irwin’’ between Archipelagos members and the crew of the International activist organisation, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The Sea Shepherd organisation was operating discretely to combat destructive fishing and illegal transportation of fish in the Mediterranean. Thus, Archipelagos had the opportunity to meet with these activists while they
A serious incident took place on June 30th, in the marine area between Samos and Fournoi. Members of Archipelagos tried to stop illegal fishing activities carried out by Turkish fishing boats, within the Greek territorial waters. Transporting of bluefin tuna and attempts to carry out illegal fishing activities were being made by the Turkish vessels: Aboulkerim(34.18.TG.2699) and Masallah.Refik.Usta (10.03.TG.0123) in the area
Just twelve days after the official EU fishing season for bluefin tuna in the EU Mediterranean zone has ended (June 15th), and one week after the “liberation” from the environmental organization «Sea Shepherd» of 800 tons of red tuna towed by poachers off the Libyan coast, another serious incident of illegal fishing of this kind
On 10 June members of the Archipelagos Marine Research Team met with the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mrs Maria Damanaki. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the Commissioner and her partners on the following aspects of marine protection studied by the Archipelagos research team: 1. “Pirate” fishing by illegal vessels in
In a bold attempt, the Panhellenic Middle Range Union of Fisheries Shipowners, (P.E.P.M.A) attempted to intervene in the research activities that Archipelagos is conducting in the south of Samos. The destructive and frequently illegal fishing practices utilized by P.E.P.M.A members, mainly trawling over productive habitats, is a significant factor adding to the degradation of the