The Messolonghi – Aitoliko lagoon is one of the largest lagoon systems in the northern Mediterranean coast and is located in the central west coast of Greece. It is an extensive complex of brackish coastal lagoons, mudflats, saltmarshes, freshwater marshes, reed beds, dune systems and patches of riparian forest formed within the double delta of the two rivers Acheloos and Evinos. A Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, a Natura2000 site and a National Park, the area holds significant development prospects that can benefit both the lagoon’s environmental status and the wellbeing of local communities.
The Management Agency of the Messolonghi-Aitoliko Lagoon is organising a one day conference, “Opportunities and Prospects for the National Park of the Messolonghi-Aitoliko Lagoon”. It will take place on 2 December and will host a number of presentations on salt marshes, salt extraction facilities, the development potential of the coastal zone, ecotourism, traditional fisheries as well as funding opportunities that can support such activities which, with appropriate management, can become assets for a sustainable future for the area. The speakers come from academia, the civil society and the fields of environmental management and development. The conference aims to encourage a dialogue among the participants and raise awareness on the need to transition to a green economy with respect for the area’s nature, culture and society.
MedINA’s director, Thymio Papayannis has been invited by the organisers to make a presentation on the potential of traditional fisheries for the area’s sustainable development and elaborate on the concept of a Messolonghi Centre for Fishing (MCF). MedINA has been working on traditional fisheries in the Messolonghi-Aitoliko lagoon, in close collaboration with its Management Agency, in the framework of the Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture second project. A living tradition, an asset for sustainable development and an activity with significant economic impact in the area, traditional fisheries and their practitioners’ need to be supported in order to preserve, modernise and expand their practice.