The Paphos tourism development organisation (Etap) in collaboration with the Pomos community council and the support of volunteers on Monday completed a clean-up of the harbour of Pomos, and its docking areas.
Aout 1,500kg of rubbish, including tyres, plastics, metals, bags, old nets and cans were recovered from the harbour’s bottom. Similar items weighing over 100kg were also collected from the surrounding land area.
Pomos community leader Andreas Dionysiou said this was the first time the harbour had been cleaned since its construction in 1983. The initiative, which is now 90 per cent complete, was undertaken on three separate occasions this year.
The biggest problem is professional and amateur anglers, Dionysiou said, in particular the tyres they use to prevent their boats from bumping against the docking stations. A total of 180 tyres were removed from the small fishing refuge, he said.
Asked why the tyres weren’t recovered by the boat-owners who use them, Dionysiou expressed his sense of helplessness over the matter, saying there was simply no way of ensuring this without an official law regulating the issue and the strict imposition of fines.
No more than 20 to 25 vessels are normally docked at the small harbour, of which only around five are owned by commercial fishermen.
“The department of fisheries is missing in action,” Dionysiou said, “they don’t monitor anything, not the illegal fishing with [oxygen] bottles, nor tyre-dumping, nor any other illegal activity. This long overdue clean-up effort was managed purely on the initiative of the local community.”
Etap for its part called on commercial and amateur fishermen, boat owners and visitors using the harbour, to “show sensitivity in matters of cleanliness,” both in sea and on land, while also calling on the department of fisheries to do more to protect the harbour’s condition.