We continue to fight the alien invasive species through gastronomy

We are pleased to announce the continuation of the first version “Pick the Alien” in Santorini in 2019, with a new CPF grant to our partner iSEA. During this first phase of the project our partner informed the local community about alien species while we discussed with local fishers about the difficulties they meet regarding alien species and their profession. Furthermore we tried to investigate the reasons why are the edible alien species not yet sold on the market and the difficulties that these species encounter to get to this point. Furthermore, we are proud to have created the first recipes e-book in Greece for edible alien species (in Greek) and in English with the contribution of renowned chefs, motivating this way the local fishermen to target these species, contributing to the mitigation of them in the Cyclades. Check the related video!

The next phase of the Pick The Alien project will try to remove the barriers between the gastronomy sector and
fisheries that renders the creation of supply chain difficult. Our focus will be on  aligning the local fishermen together with local restaurateurs and the local markets in order to support the creation of a pilot chain that will supply and promote the consumption of alien marine species in restaurants. We commit to  keep empowering the local fishermen sell these species to the local markets because when they end up in their nets, they stop them from potentially hunting endangered endemic species, they control their populations in our seas and eventually bring a very nice fresh fish to our plates.

As a next step, we will build on the knowledge we have gathered from the past project in  Santorini to implement the project to the islands of Paros and Amorgos. These two new islands were selected with a view to the alien species recorded to these areas from the citizen science project run by iSEA and the population of the islandsand their geographical position. Then, the project will invest in raising the awareness of local stakeholders (professional and recreational fishers, divers, restaurateurs, local authorities and others) regarding the issue of biological invasions, with a special interest on mitigation and protection from toxic and venomous species. In addition, the project will empower the local communities for reporting IAS and supporting the assessment of descriptor D2 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

We will partner with many local stakeholders, such as the Theran Sea Society, Dive In Action, Paros Fishing Trips, Amorgos Fishing Trips, Paros Divers and Paros Diving Center.