In a ground-breaking move hailed as a “historic moment for conservation in Greece,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a comprehensive ban on bottom trawling within all marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2030. The announcement came during his speech at the Our Ocean Conference in Athens.

Greece aims to lead by example as the first nation to eradicate this environmentally harmful fishing technique in its protected waters. The ban will initially take effect in Greece’s three national marine parks, including the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, by 2026. The rest of the MPAs will follow by the decade’s end.

Bottom trawling, a method that involves dragging heavy nets across the seabed, is known for destroying marine habitats and releasing carbon into the ocean and atmosphere. While Europe currently imposes several restrictions on this practice, Greece will be the first European country to implement a total ban across all its marine protected areas.

Enric Sala, National Geographic explorer in residence and founder of the Pristine Seas initiative, commended Greece’s leadership, stating, “This historic move—a first for Europe—brings the country one step closer to ensuring that its marine protected areas can deliver the full potential of their benefits. These range from protecting biodiversity and storing carbon, to boosting the tourism and fishing industries.”

You can read the full news at this link.