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Coast guard stops seabed cleanup by volunteers

Coast guard stops seabed cleanup by volunteers

The Hellenic Coast Guard is looking into the credibility of a complaint by a diving center owner on the Ionian island of Zakynthos who prevented a seabed cleanup by volunteers, claiming that such operations can only be conducted by professional divers and require a special permit. 

The inquiry is also seeking ways to amend the law to allow such operations.

The complaint concerned an operation by Aegean Rebreath, a nongovernmental organization that has carried out massive cleanups of ghost nets and other trash from Greek ports and coasts. The Zakynthos operation was suspended just two hours after it started. “We were asked to stop bringing up trash from the sea,” Giorgos Sarelakos, the head of Aegean Rebreath, told Kathimerini.

Coast guard sources told Kathimerini that the officers in Zakynthos were acting by the book but conceded that existing legislation can be confusing. 

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