x

Society

EU Bans Sales of Fish Over Untreated Waste on Turkish-Cypriot Side

NICOSIA – The European Commission has prohibited the import of fish from Famagusta on the Turkish-occupied side of Cyprus after finding that untreated human waste was being dumped into the sea there.

That was detected by an investigation of European Union analysts, said The Cyprus Mail, which led to 30 fishing vessels docked in the port banned from selling fish in the bloc.

A Green Line Regulation – referring to the division between the Greek-Cypriot side and the occupied territory that takes up the northern third of the island – was put into force in 2004 when Cyprus joined the EU, apart from the Turkish-Cypriot side.

The regulation set out rules under which people, goods and services can cross the Green Line and some foods, including fish, are allowed to be traded across the Green Line to the Greek-Cypriot community.

EU inspectors carry out regular checks to make sure the products meet standards for safety and other criteria and found that in this case the fish were in areas where untreated wastewater was poured into the sea, polluting the wates.

“The EU experts first detected two months ago that untreated wastewater was being released into the sea in the Famagusta fishing port, where the fishing vessels are docked,” Kemal Atakan, head of the fishermen’s association told the paper.

“After three consecutive inspections and when all the warnings fell on deaf ears, the commission decided to exclude fish from that area from the Green Line trade,” he said, after apparently allowing fish caught in human waste to be sold.

“We give them 10 days to fix the problem,” said Atakan. “If they don’t, we, as fishermen, will take matters into our own hands. We will block the discharge pipe with cement.”

He said that a wastewater treatment plant in the area was first out of order due to a malfunction but that after the local authority said it was fixed the EU inspectors found out that was a lie and the water discharged in the sea was still untreated.

“This time because there was no electricity at the treatment plant,” he said.

The Turkish-Cypriot community has had frequent power outages because of a lack of investments in the electricity infrastructure, fuel shortages and the inability to buy some very expensive spare parts for failed turbines, the paper said.

Atakan insisted though that the waters where fishing takes place are clean, contradicting the EU inspectors report.

“The untreated wastewater is being released into the fishing port, where the fishing vessels are docked,” explains Atakan. “There is no pollution in the open waters, where fishing is done.”

But İzzet Adiloğlu from the Turkish-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, which issues the necessary documentation needed for products to be able to cross the Green Line, told the paper there was still a risk.

“Of course, the fish are from open waters,” said Adiloğlu. “But there is always the danger that polluted water will infiltrate into the deck of the vessel, come in contact with the fish and pose a risk… EU experts make the necessary inspections for trading fish across the Green Line. These experts determine which vessels are in line with hygiene and other standards. We give the documentation in accordance with these inspections. And we are no longer providing documentation for the vessels using the Famagusta fishing port.”

RELATED

NICOSIA - After easing health measures to lure tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in cases has pushed the Cypriot government to reconvene an advisory panel of health experts on how to deal with cases rising.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.