A proposal submitted by the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the sinking of a large vessel in the marine protected area of Amathus, in order to create an artificial reef and further boost diving activity, is being promoted jointly with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research. The idea arose from contacts between the Chamber and Limassol-based ship-owning companies, which expressed readiness to make available, under certain conditions and even in the form of donation, a large vessel for immersion purposes in the sea area of Amathus, for the creation of an artificial reef.
As the president of the LCCI, Andreas Tsouloftas, told us, the issue was discussed recently with the Minister of Agriculture and high-ranking officials of the Ministry. The LCCI is now awaiting a letter from the Ministry, through the Department of Fisheries, that the latter will undertake the cleaning of the large ship that the Chamber will bring and dock in Amathus to enhance and promote diving tourism. "It will be the biggest shipwreck in Cyprus after Zenovia," said Andreas Tsouloftas.
The Officer at the Department of Artificial Reefs of the Department of Fisheries, George Pagiatas, told us that the expansion of the protected marine area is being discussed with the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and the Port Authority so that it can accommodate a 100-meter vessel. Mr. Pagiatas also said that the LCCI, under the guidance of the Department of Fisheries, will select the vessel that should be placed in deeper waters than those deployed so far, due to its size. When the vessel is selected and acquired by the LCCI, the Department of Fisheries will clean and prepare it, according to specifications that exist in international conventions for the protection of the Mediterranean. George Pagiatas also said that the Department of Fisheries has already submitted two research proposals in collaboration with major institutions (universities) for the creation of 3D printing reefs and expressed hope that in the near future, at least one of these proposals will have a positive outcome.