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Paphos fishermen weather tough 2021

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File photo: Fisheries Department

Paphos fishermen managed to cope in 2021 despite having a very difficult year, Paphos fishermen’s association head Leonidas Leonidou said on Wednesday.

“Our efforts every year centre on keeping stocks at a level that will allow traditional fishermen to continue working,” Leonidou told the Cyprus News Agency.

He added that the Mediterranean ecosystem is currently under threat by invasive species such as lionfish, silver-cheeked toadfish (lagocephalus sceleratus) and certain shark species.

To this end, he said that fishermen are suggesting a higher reward is set for catching toadfish in particular as they are extremely poisonous.

Leonidou urged the government to use the €40 million it has received from the EU wisely, to improve fishing infrastructure and maintain fishing stocks.

Suggested projects were fortifying artificial reefs and cleaning rivers, temporarily forbidding fishing from certain areas to protect endangered marine species, restrictions for amateur fishermen and incentives for professionals.

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