NINETY-ONE per cent of the Mediterranean is now heavily overfished according to a recent report from the European Commission.
Much of the exploitation of Mediterranean is now happening illegally, with illegal driftnets, longlines and dynamite fishing being an almost non-stop problem in all areas of the sea.
One of the most shocking aspects of the illegal fishing problem is that many of the animals killed are what is known as ‘by catch,’ seabirds, turtles, whales and dolphins that are accidently drowned by illegal devises and then thrown back into the sea or left to rot.
The environmental organisation The Black Fish has been attempting to reverse this negative decline in the oceans, particularly in the Mediterranean. The health and productivity of the sea is very much part of Spanish life, culture and economy along thousands of kilometres of coastline and the Balearic Islands.
The organisation has been working with local authorities and training volunteer ‘citizen inspectors’ to alert authorities when illegal operations are suspected. The organisation also uses drones and is constantly developing innovative approaches. This has led to several confiscations and prosecutions as a result.
More than 120 citizen inspectors have now been trained but more are needed and the organisation is currently looking to expand and extend its operation.
More information on overfishing in the Mediterranean and how to assist can be found at: www.theblackfish.org