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Fishing in the Mediterranean Sea is a deeplyrooted economic activity that has been of great social and cultural importance for a thousand years

Widespread engine power fraud calls for stronger cuts in fishing effort

EUROPEAN UNION
Friday, October 11, 2019, 22:40 (GMT + 9)

The conservation organization argues that EU ministers must reduce the fishing effort more than proposed by the European Commission to stop the overfishing crisis of hake, mullet, Norway lobster and prawns

Oceana warns that the European Commission's proposal on fishing opportunities for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea will not be able to tackle the overfishing crisis of these seas.

Mediterranean Sea and fishing area management units (GSA). Dark blue areas show where the EU fishes exclusively (not shared with third countries). EU countries (yellow) and third countries (grey). (Photo: OCEANA)

The NGO argues that the extension of fraud in the power of the ship engines requires a greater reduction in fishing effort to begin recovering fish stocks and ensuring the future of key fisheries in the area. Therefore, it asks EU ministers to go beyond the proposal, which is a critical factor for the success of the Western Mediterranean Multiannual Plan. 

“The Mediterranean and the Black Sea are the most overfished seas in the world. As an EU audit on engine power revealed in June, fraud is widespread and there are trawlers operating in the Mediterranean with more than twice the declared engine power. The seriousness of these infractions requires reducing the number of fishing days in 2020. It is essential to end the excess capacity to recover the abundance of fish," says Nicolas Fournier, EU policy officer at Oceana. 

The plan, approved in July of this year, foresees a reduction in effort through a “maximum allowable fishing effort” for Spain, France and Italy, and in particular for trawl fleets that capture six main species: red mullet, giant red shrimp, deep-water rose shrimp, Mediterranean red shrimp and Norway lobster. The goal of Maximum Sustainable Yield must be achieved progressively by 2025.

Oceana emphasizes that the latest evaluation of the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean on these six fish stocks throws extreme overfishing situations for hake, mullet and Norway lobster, which are overfished up to 15, 6 and 5 times above the sustainable levels , respectively. More than 80% of the fish stocks in the Mediterranean are overexploited, the highest rate worldwide.

The conservation organization asks the next EU Council of Ministers (December 16-17) to approve greater reductions in fishing effort than those proposed by the European Commission, in order to move forward on the road to sustainability and quickly recover fish stocks and fish. The profitability of fishing.


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