Due to dramatic changes in the economical, political, psychological and collective subconscious states of Greece and its' inhabitants, we have not updated this blog-spot and must apologize to our wonderful readers and followers across the globe! Before I continue to the main theme of this post, I must dedicate one of my favorite songs to all of you, sending summer vibes and rhythms, but most importantly lots of love to wherever you are! keep on searching!
In this post, I would like to introduce the collective work of the local community of Olympus-Dios along with two of my colleagues - friends, and their magnificent idea to revive a forgotten and nearly destroyed wetland into the first Ichthyotrophic-Ecotourism park in Greece!!!!!! A big round of applause to them and all those people who are brave enough to let go of feelings of self pity and sorrow and to all those who have the courage and insight to start something new and fresh in accordance with nature, rather than destroying it in the name of money.
The park is located in Papouliou Wetland of Neoi Poroi. After dealing with the cumbersome paperwork and obtaining innumerable licenses AND using their own funds and energy, these people have managed to protect and show this forgotten "protected area" to all those interested, focusing especially on schools and universities.
After years of abandonment, illegal poaching and major garbage dump, the area has metamorphosed
into a new model of development for Greece. In the wetland side of the park, various fish and invertebrates are cultured and fished using traditional techniques. The aim is to label the production as bio-organic seafood. On the terrestrial part of the park various eco tourism activities are planned. A 1000 meter route for hiking, is already set up with labelled information on the flaura and fauna. Two observatories provide spectacular views of Mt. Olympus, the Castle of Platamonas, the coasts of South Pieria, the spectacular Gulf of Thermaikos, and of course the rich biodiversity of birds that nest there naturally like Flamingos, ducks, swans, sea gulls and many more.
Visitors can enjoy a refreshment while visiting environmental exibitions, and the kids can play in specifically designed play area. A beautiful museum focusing on the creation and evolution of life, with themes mostly from the sea and aquatic life. Please visit the parks website here www.tethys.gr, which was launched only yesterday!
But we must not forget the fish!
This beauty is one of the 5 species of mullets that thrive in the wet land. Let us introduce the beautiful Liza aurata! Mullets are quite hard to identify even for specialists, however we are pretty sure this is her, because of the comparatively thin upper lip, the long pectoral fin, the yellow spot, small scales and nearly scaleless pretty face! Mullets are a very prized food source and in Greece the female gonads of certain species are very highly sought after due to their quality and high price. The delicacy made from the female roe is called "avgotaraxo" and can be sold as high as 200 euros per piece, preserved beautifully in bees wax! This beauty of a mullet can reach the size of 59 cm , but usually around 30 cm. It is found from Scotland to Cape Verde; in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Also in the coastal waters from southern Norway to Morocco, and rarely off Mauritania.This species breeds from July to November only in the sea, and its minimum sustainable size for consumption is 20 cm! Always respect this size and the breading season. We must all be left alone while breeding, right?!