Pierre Yves Cousteau, world-famous diver and son of legendary undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, recently referred to his aim to create a Marine Protected Area (marine park) in Santorini, while delivering his keynote address at the international conference on sustainable fishing capacity management held in Thessaloniki.
The conference was held under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the EU Council and hosted by the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki.
Speaking under the title of Goodwill Ambassador for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Mr. Cousteau said that for the past three years he has been in discussions with the island’s professionals and agencies aiming to create a marine park in Santorini where fishing would be prohibited.
Mr. Cousteau is the founder and president of Cousteau Divers, a non-profit organization that aims to unite divers of the planet and protect marine life. He first visited Santorini in May 2009 and since then has returned another six times.
After the conference in Thessaloniki, Mr. Cousteau visited Santorini to discuss with the island’s fishermen who had expressed concern about how a Marine Protected Area would affect them and their families.
When speaking to the Greek press, Santorini Mayor Anastasios Zorzos said that the fishermen have agreed to Mr. Cousteau’s plans for a marine park on the island. The mayor said that the Municipality of Thira and the Greek Professional Fishermen Association wish to get involved in the project.