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Amorgorama: Fishing plastic instead of fish in the Greek island of Amorgos
1,470 raised
12% of €12k goal
40 contributors
3 Days left

 

Overview

 

Amorgorama stands for Amorgos + orama, which means vision, in Greek. Amorgorama is a project created by the Professional Fishing Association of Amorgos and the artist Florian Reiche and it aims to deal with the problems of the continuously increasing pollution of the coastline of Amorgos by plastics as well as the overfishing in the Aegean Sea. Specifically, with Amorgorama as fishermen of Amorgos we wish to stop fishing during April and May every year, when most fish species reproduce, and instead use our kaikis, our traditional fishing boats, to collect litter from coasts that are only accessible by the sea. In this way, we will reduce coastal and water contamination and at the same time we will give the marine life time for regeneration, addressing two vital problems through one project.

 

The problems

 

In the spring, after the strong winter winds, tons of plastic waste accumulate in the coasts exposed to the harsh storms. In most cases, collection is only possible from the sea. The picking is vital at that time, because most of the plastic pieces are still at a visible size. Through natural weathering processes (wind, waves, sunlight exposure) plastic pieces start breaking down into much smaller pieces and after long-term degradation they reach a size which is undetectable to the naked eye, that is when they have become microplastics. As such, microplastics enter the cycle of nature, contaminating the sea and accumulating in seafood, ultimately affecting humans. As the first few missions of plastic collection have begun with the participation of volunteers, we already know that most of the litter consists of trawl nets, plastic bottles and other plastic items (bags, toys, fishing equipment etc).

 

Perivola Bay, Amorgos 2020

 

At the same time, fishermen and the local community are dealing with the problem of overfishing. Fishermen were always the first to realize the continuous decrease of fish, even the extinction of some fish species. What is more, we are also the first to face the implications of fish reduction. Overfishing results in us loosing our jobs and setting the Greek fishing tradition into extinction. In the past, we were even advised to destroy our kaikis and receive a generous compensation, in the name of overfishing. However, our coastal fishing boats might form the 96,5% of the Greek fishing fleet but bring only the 40% of the total fish catch in Greece. On the contrary, big fishing trawlers which constitute the 3,5% of the fishing industry catch the 60% of the total fish in the country (Hellenic Statistical Authority, 2019).

 

Who we are

 

We are 40 fishermen living and fishing in the Greek island of Amorgos and our goal is to organize fishing in a sustainable way for the marine life, as well as for the people working in the fishing industries. Along with our local community, we also engage in other environmental activities, such as creating special bins for recycling fishing equipment and supporting Pick the Alien project with deals with the problem of alien fish through gastronomy.

 

The goal of our crowdfunding campaign

 

Our goal as fishermen of Amorgos is to stay away from fishing during April and May and to focus instead on collecting plastic from the northern beaches with our kaikis. 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. As fishing is the only source of income for us and our families, to achieve our goal, we need funds to replace our monthly salaries. Our long-term goal is to spread the idea of Amorgorama to more Greek islands in order to maximise the impact.

 

What we need

 

10 of us have been selected to alternatively use their fishing boats this spring (2021) and we have decided to cover 30 euros per meter of our kaiki, for each day labour. For example, a fisherman of an 8-meter vessel will be paid 240 euro for each day he goes out for plastic picking. This amount will cover:

  • Fuels
  • 24% tax
  • Boat crew daily wage
  • Fisherman daily wage
  • Cost of equipment (rubbish bags, disposable gloves)

 

 Other ways you can help

 

If you cannot donate to Amorgorama, there are other ways you can help! You could spread the world about our cause through your social media, volunteer in our litter collection missions or just leave us your comments either in this platform or via our website!  

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