Sunday, July 20, 2014

Acheloos my love

Mid July 2014 The Upper Acheloos River Basin, Pindos Mountains Greece

Since the days of my PhD work I have been visiting this part of Greece's major mountain river - a true wild river landscape. It is a mountain river of grand proportions, cold-water tributaries with West Balkan Trout and active main-stem with Montane Cyprinid fishes. Small villages like Mesochora are so much part of the river cultural element also. All of this is in the shadow of a now famous mega-dam and river diversion entering 3 decades of controversy!  The Mesochora Dam is 'complete' but it is still not flooding the valley, the fight is in the courts - and for me this is good. As many ecologists, I am personally against this diversion, I am against the desecration of this landscape, this poorly planned and wasteful attempt that does not respect the nature of our largest wild mountain river. It also does not respect the potential for conservation and development of this unique landscape. Would you tear-apart a river landscape you love?

However, the fishes of the valley are already affected  (by the barrier caused by the dam and tunnel...) and they are affected by uncontrolled illegal fishing also. So we found few fishes in our recent fish habitat work there. It was so frustrating to work so hard to snorkel in a variety of places and see so few fish.

In our project EcoFlow we are working to understand the ecological requirements caused by water abstraction and dams - and we are using fish as indicators. But its not just fish.

My love to all who participate in the pursuit of knowledge and truth, the river is our classroom.

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