03/28/24 Extension of Trawling Approval is a Tragedy for the Adriatic!

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On the occasion of the World Day for the End of Fishing, Animal Friends highlight the devastation of the sea.

- Urgent ban on trawling needed as 80% of the Adriatic Sea floor is destroyed by trawling

The World Day for the End of Fishing is observed on the last Saturday of March to educate about the destructive effects of fishing on the planet's health and the ultimate goal - to ban fishing worldwide! However, Animal Friends point out that such a solution is far from reality, as two months ago, through amendments to the Regulation on the Issuance of Approval for Commercial Trawling at Sea with Bottom Trawls, the Ministry of Agriculture extended the approval for trawling fleets until the end of 2026.

"We consider the periodic extensions of trawling fishing approvals tragic for the marine world and the environment because they prolong the further devastation of the Adriatic. Trawls, like underwater bulldozers, leave behind a trail of death and dying on the devastated seabed! The recovery of the Adriatic is not possible through legal regulation but only through a complete ban on trawling. By continuously extending approvals for commercial trawling at sea, trawling contributes to further devastating effects of this type of fishing on marine ecosystems, climate change, and the planet," warn Animal Friends.

They propose that amendments to the Law on Marine Fisheries and other relevant regulations completely ban fishing with bottom trawls, and until then, further issuance of approvals for commercial trawling at sea should be prohibited. They believe that Croatia needs to set clear time frames and ecological and social objectives to effectively reduce the capacity and impact of trawling fleets. Subsidies should not be allocated to increase capacity or use public funds to support the trawling sector. Instead, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) should provide necessary support to compensate for the socioeconomic effects of reducing capacity, or create new jobs related to coastal and marine restoration.

Animal Friends highlight trawling as the most destructive fishing method, causing immense and irreversible damage to the Adriatic Sea: "Animals living on the seabed or feeding near the seabed end up entangled in the non-selective trawl net, and most die due to lack of oxygen. Bottom trawling severely depletes fish populations, removes seagrass, destroys coral reefs, underwater algal forests, and other habitats of marine animals. This further inflicts physical harm on the entire marine ecosystem. Between 50 and 80% of the European continental shelf is regularly subjected to trawling. The Adriatic Sea is one of the most affected, with up to 80% of its seabed destroyed by trawling!"

Furthermore, Croatia is among the top ten countries in the world whose trawlers emit the most harmful gases and is one of the EU countries most negatively affected by climate change. Croatian trawlers are among the worst carbon polluters globally, and the Adriatic Sea is listed as one of the three global seas whose enhanced protection could reduce carbon emissions and improve biodiversity. A 2021 study found that trawlers release more carbon dioxide than the entire aviation industry, causing yet another form of ecological disaster!

According to a study by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the Mediterranean has lost 41% of marine mammals and 34% of the total fish stock in the last 50 years. The largest losses, over 50%, were recorded in the Adriatic. Research confirms that 90% of large fish populations have been depleted in the last 50 years, and it is estimated that if this cruel practice continues, there will be no fish left in the seas and oceans by 2050.

On the occasion of the World Day for the End of Fishing, Animal Friends remind us that fishing devastates the world's seas and oceans, jeopardizing the survival of numerous marine animals and vegetation, without which marine life is disrupted and facing extinction. Rapid net retrieval from the sea causes rupture of the swim bladder due to a significant pressure change, causing fish to suffer a painful death.

Therefore, Animal Friends continue to advocate for an urgent ban on the use of bottom trawls as their use has led to the devastation of our sea, the destruction of fish habitats, and the complete disruption of biodiversity. They urge citizens to watch the outstanding documentary "Seaspiracy" and sign the current petition to ban bottom trawls at www.zabranimo-koce.net.

Trawl nets 1 [ 127.74 Kb ]

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