“No source of pollution is insignificant” is a program implemented with the support of ELIN that included several actions to support the members of the Blue Municipalities Network. The aim was to address a problem that is very common in all Greek ports, that is the pollution of the marine environment caused by lubricants and fuels. In this context, the staff of the port authorities and the members of the fishing community were provided with special equipment, received training and attended educational workshops. All participants were very enthusiastic about the program, which shows that it managed to meet existing needs by providing effective tools regarding the protection of the marine environment.

Evaluating needs

The first step was to find out how interested were the members of the Blue Municipalities Network in the implementation of the program. To this regard, we carried out discussions with both the port authorities and the fishing community to ensure that they would actively participate in this project. The encouraging results and the immediate response, already from the beginning, facilitated the timely preparation of the endeavor.

Delivery of equipment

In this phase, we visited several islands and held meetings with our local partners. During these visits, antipollution stations were delivered along with training on the use of the equipment. Also, the fishermen who attended the training received bags with materials for immediate intervention. Everyone recognized that the equipment was very useful since it could address minor accidents that still exist to date. Usually, Port authorities have large units to deal with major accidents; however, the use of the equipment involves the participation of numerous partners and requires specific procedures. However, life in ports shows that minor incidents occur very often and, overtime, this result to more extensive pollution.

Evaluating the added value of the program

At that stage, the main objective was to assess the added value of the equipment. Aspects such as ease of use, frequency of use, and the degree of problem solving were studied. In particular, a case in the port of Vlychada in Santorini served as an example, where a few days after the delivery of the equipment, a pollution incident was detected that caused the immediate activation of both the local authorities and the fishing community. In a short time, the positive result from the use of the equipment became evident.

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