A letter was sent by the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) to the Minister of Mercantile Marine, Mr. Miltiades Varvitsiotis, in regards of the discontinuation of ferry services connecting Kythira and Antikythira with the port of Piraeus. This followed LANE Sea Lines’ request to discontinue their ferry transportation services to the islands on the grounds of financial hardship.

In this letter, the HOS stresses that such a dramatic change would not just cause obvious and huge difficulties to the life of islanders but would also jeopardize the Antikythira Bird Observatory (ABO), a world known scientific project hosted in the “forgotten” small island. More specifically, Antikythira is the base of the oldest Greek monitoring program for birds migrating from Africa to Europe, with dozens of publications in international scientific journals. Established in the mid ’90s with the housing support of the Antikythira community and under the auspices of the A. G. Leventis Foundation, the ABO will celebrate its 10nth anniversary of continuous operation this year.

The small local community of Antikythira has embraced and supported the ABO project since day one. Respectively, ABO’s actions promote Antikythira worldwide as a popular destination for alternative tourism, a fact also verified by the experiences of volunteers who visit the island every year.

The adverse effects of Antikythira’s possible isolation will act as a strong deterrent to tourism, and cause great insecurity for key issues, such as healthcare, to the local community and the visitors.

The HOS expresses its strong opposition to sea transport services’ cuts to small Greek islands, which seriously compromises, among others, the development perspectives for alternative forms of tourism (eco-tourism, walking tourism and birdwatching tourism).

The HOS sides with the local communities of Kythira and Antikythira and raises its voice with theirs, calling upon Ministry’s authorities to ensure, as they should, the regular connection of both islands with their administrative center. The administrative and, consequently, financial isolation of Antikythira should not by any means be an option for a modern European country, as we aspire to think of Greece.

For more information, please visit ABO’s website: https://www.ornithologiki.gr/osa

Antikythira Island Takes Massive Blow Due to Maritime Isolation https://www.ornithologiki.gr/images/nea/photo_news_balader.jpg Pavlos

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