NEWS

Fishermen call on government, prosecutor to stop illegal Turkish fishing

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Shipping

An extrajudicial legal document signed by 36 fishermen was sent to the Shipping ministry, the coast guard and the Piraeus prosecutor's office on Wednesday, in which they called on authorities to take action against their Turkish colleagues who they claim fish inside Greek territorial waters.

The fishermen said in their document they find themselves “in an uneven undeclared war with Turkish fishermen and Turkish patrol boats that are assisting them in illegal fishing.”

They cited the legal code which stipulates arrests and fines for such infringements and accused Greek authorities of looking the other way as their Turkish counterparts engage in illegal activities.

“Turkish fishermen plunder the Greek seas undisturbed, taking advantage of the fact that they had never been arrested, even when the Coast Guard patrol boats caught them fishing within our territorial waters in violation of Article 401 of the Penal Code,” they said.

Recent stories published in Kathimerini reveal this practise by Turkish fishermen started months ago but recently escalated.

Greek fishermen claim the violations are not limited to the Eastern Aegean, but extend to the Thracian Sea, off the coast of Macedonia and Thrace.

“Today, more than 100 fishing boats operate in the Thracian Sea, while the Greek boats from Alexandroupoli to Kavala are only 30,” they said.

According to the fishermen, the official response they have received from the competent authorities in the Shipping Ministry is that they cannot do anything out of fear of escalating tensions in Greek-Turkish relations. 

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