Greece's Recreational Fishermen Protest COVID-19 Ban


(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Thanassis Kalliaras)

ATHENS – An uncertain prohibition in Greece on fishing as part of a second COVID-19 lockdown is unfair, those who do it for recreation and food said, pointing out that most do the practice alone and aren't putting others at risk.

There's an apparent loophole in the health measure but it leaves open the possibility of being fined 300 euros ($355.70) if some for reason a police officer happens to be on the beach and sees you.

|Recreational fishing has not been formally banned, although this was said by the deputy civil protection minister on television. There is no specific ban in the relevant Official Gazette, just that amateur fishing is not considered essential travel,” Dionysis Bastas, President of the Panhellenic Association of Amateur Fishermen, told Kathimerini.

“So saying that you go fishing is considered a pointless move and you will be fined,” he added, bemoaning that “if a policeman sees you fishing on the beach, he can fine you.”

Fishermen around the country are upset over whether they could continue to fish or not, a favorite activity in Greece, as the lockdown requires people to stay home except for permissible missions.

Those include going to supermarkets, banks, doctors, hospitals, essential businesses allowed to be open, or for exercise or walking pets, although it's being flouted in many instances with street traffic near normal at times.