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Greece | Grassroots activists tout MPA around popular tourist isle

Santorini, Greece, attracts millions of visitors annually with its brilliant sunshine, soft sand and pristine turquoise waves. But lurking in the depths of the historic Aegean Sea island’s idyllic waters is something ugly: heaps and heaps of lost and discarded fishing gear. This includes large fishing nets, long lines and crab pots, collectively called “ghost gear” because they ensnare marine wildlife long after they’re abandoned.

Both active and derelict fishing gear entangle and kill hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins annually across the globe, according to the United Nations, in addition to sea turtles, fish, invertebrates, seals, sea lions and seabirds. In Santorini, as in many other coastal communities, ghost gear serves as a reminder of the region’s sometimes destructive reliance on fishing to fuel the local economy and feed people.


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