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In September 2019, our organization, in the context of expanded actions on the island of Syros, collected a sample of sediment from the port of Syros, which was handed over to the Hellenic Center for Marine Research for geochemical analysis and extraction of results. Since then, and based on the results, Aegean Rebreath has not taken a public position, as we believed, and still believe, that it is up to the competent authorities to decide on the use of the primary data.

However, from that day on, we have come across numerous expressed inaccuracies that distort the reality and aim to serve different sides. For this reason and in order to restore the truth, we find it appropriate to present the following data. More specifically:

  • Our organization, in the context of its environmental work throughout Greece, implements research activities related to the collection of sediment and microplastics. The collection of samples is based on international standards and in accordance with the instructions of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research, with which we have signed a memorandum of cooperation.
  • The results of the metals’ measurement, taken at a sample area of the sea bottom of Syros, were delivered via email to the Ministry of Environment, the South Aegean Region and the Municipality of Syros-Ermoupolis.
  • From the first moment, both in public communications as well as during live meetings between our representatives and local authorities, we made clear that the results come from a measurement made in a specific part of the island. Various statements that come from third parties and claim that we allegedly delivered a relevant study are not true and, thus, cannot be proven. From the very beginning, we had made clear to all concerned parties that our organization provided primary data for utilization and further investigation by local and regional authorities.
  • We would like to clarify that we never took a stand on the source and extent of the pollution, not because we wanted to hide behind the problem, but because we are not in the position to document any general conclusions about the wider region, based on just a sample area. We consider that our role was exhausted after being summoned as witnesses in the investigation process conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office in Syros. At the same time, we believe that the local community, the local authorities and other competent bodies are the ones that are most eligible and qualified to assess the quality of marine resources on a daily basis.
  • Aegean Rebreath cooperates with the Municipality of Syros-Ermoupolis and the Municipal Port Fund of Syros through a memorandum for the implementation of extended environmental activities. In this context, our organization operates and will continue to operate under the guidance of local authorities. For this reason and given the need to obtain more data and consequent conclusions, our organization has volunteered from the start to perform more and expanded measurements in the port of Syros.

Finally, as an environmental organization we would expect that any results would mobilize the local community as a whole in order to evaluate and solve any existing problems. We will continue to work in this direction, ignoring the efforts of some parties to take advantage of the volunteers’ work and create a climate of division or serve expediencies which we do not share.

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