Despite public concerns from environmental organizations and researchers, the Department of Antiquities has begun preliminary underwater work in the ancient port of Amathus.
The works are carried out in the framework of a European cross-border program with the acronym ANDIKAT (Development of Diving Tourism Network) and aims to “highlight the port and create diving routes”.
Also, according to the Department of Antiquities, the program aims to promote the underwater archaeological and natural heritage. To achieve the goal, tens of square meters of the protected plant Poseidonia must be pruned.
The archeological officer of the Department of Antiquities of Limassol, Giannis Violaris stated that in no case would we want to “disturb” it, it will just be pruned and this of course is done with the permission of the scientific committee that exists on these issues. Only in the buildings of the piers will it be removed locally for maintenance purposes, as we do with the ruins on land “and that its protection” is a top priority, both by European and national legislation “.
The importance of this plant
“The marine plant Poseidonia plays a very important role in the conservation of marine ecosystems. In fact, scientists say that these meadows have a productivity equal to that of the Amazon forests “, stressed to politis.com.cy the president of the Ecologists' Movement, Charalambos Theopemptou, noting that” we had a meeting with academics and the Department of Fisheries coordinator who will closely monitor its removal.
“We asked,” he said, “from the Department of Marine Research to try to transplant it to gain experience.”
Speaking to politis.com.cy, the researchers stressed their dissatisfaction with the cutting of Poseidonia due to its importance, adding: “We are not convinced that pruning / deforestation is a practice that will not destroy this area.”
“The meadow will not be destroyed”
The director of the Underwater Archaeological Research Laboratory of the University of Cyprus, Dr. Styliani Demestiha told politis.com.cy that “they are not going to destroy the meadow of Poseidonia, but a small part of it will be 'sacrificed', so that it does not cover the remains and be captured digitally. That is, a website will be created, so that the public can be informed from their mobile phone or computer at home “.
Work begins soon
“Bathers are urged to be very careful and to avoid places where work is performed, for which there will be appropriate signage. They are also asked not to move antiquities that may exist at the bottom, or markings that will be placed within the project “, the Department of Antiquities states in a statement and” apologizes in advance for any inconvenience that may be caused “.
Finally, it should be noted that the work will continue throughout the summer.
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