Cyprus Mail

Paphos fishermen want state to tackle alien species

feature annette the poisonous toadfish
The poisonous toadfish

Paphos professional fishermen urged for action on Tuesday over the increase of alien fish species in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which endangers the marine ecosystem but also their livelihood.

The chairman of the fishermen, Leonidas Leonidou, said that in recent years, various alien fish species have invaded the eastern Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.

Such species, including the silver-cheeked toadfish, lionfish, bluespotted cornetfish and various shark species, are at the top of the food chain and cause enormous damage to marine stocks and fishing equipment, Leonidou said.

He added that the fishing profession is endangered but also the marine ecosystem since some of the alien species are poisonous or venomous.

Around 327 fishermen are currently active in the district, according to Leonidou.

On behalf of professional fishermen, Leonidou requested a meeting with the the agriculture ministry and the fisheries department but also MEPs to discuss the issue.

Fishermen, he said, experience the situation and are able to find solutions in cooperation with the state.

They also asked the state to continue the programme of creating artificial reefs but to better police them, as extensive illegal fishing goes on in these areas.



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