Greece’s traditional fishing boat, the caique, is under assault, and now a petition has been started to prevent it from disappearing altogether.
In 1996, the European Union, in an effort to prevent overfishing, started paying fishermen large fees to hand in their licenses and scrap their boats. The rule included an exception for boats “that were placed in an enclosed area as exhibits to never sail again,” but Greece, also under pressure from the European Union to impose austerity measures, was unable to save good examples of the boat.
Since then, more than 12,500 examples of the caique, whose history dates back more than 2,500 years, have been destroyed. Ironically, considering their millenial history, it takes only about 15 minutes to crush a wooden caique with heavy equipment. There are fears that soon there will be none left and that the skills to build new ones are about to be lost.
Now, an ongoing campaign by a Greek newspaper, Kathimerini, a Greek television station, Skai TV, and the Traditional Boats Association of Greece has been joined by the Regional Authority of the Southern Aegean and they have launched an online campaign— #savekaikia—to raise public awareness.
They are calling for an end to the destruction of traditional boats, so they can be used as leisure or touring vessels.
You can read more here.