11/19/20 Croatia has not yet banned deadly trawlers

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Continuing the campaign “Respect our seas”, Animal Friends Croatia warns of the devastation of the Adriatic

Trawlers that grab everything on the bottom of the sea are still allowed.

During the "Respect Our Seas" campaign, launched two years ago in collaboration with Eurogroup for Animals, Animal Friends Croatia drew attention to the rapid destruction and extinction of oceans and seas, including the Adriatic Sea where life has already been halved. Due to intensive fishing and the growing impact of climate change, 50% of the fauna and flora in the Adriatic and the western Mediterranean have disappeared!

"Both those who fish and those who consume life torn from the depths of the sea are to blame for the death of the sea, but also the competent institutions that do not pass even the most basic prohibitions. But one should not ignore one of the main enemies of the sea and all life in it: trawlers or trawler nets. Wherever they pass, they leave only destruction and desolation on the seabed ", points out Animal Friends Croatia.

They expressed concern because the trawlers catch fish, crabs, shellfish, algae, and everything else that is on the bottom of the sea, and precisely because of the devastating impact on the sea they are limited. "At the public debate on the Proposal of the Rulebook on conducting commercial fishing at sea with coastal trawler nets in February 2018, we advocated a complete ban on the use of trawlers. We now warn again of the disastrous consequences that trawling has on life in the Adriatic, leading to the destruction of fish habitats and the complete disruption of biodiversity. The recovery of the Adriatic is not possible by legal regulation of the use of trawler nets, but only by their complete ban ", says Animal Friends Croatia.

It has been pointed out that this is the case by fishermen and fishing organizations themselves for many years. Thus, for example, trawlers' nets destroyed the flora and fauna of the Pašman Channel, which, together with the Murter Sea, forms a large hatchery and fish habitat. Fishermen there complain that 70 to 80 percent of their catches with nets are dead fish thrown back into the sea. After only one passage of a trawler near Pašman, as many as 24 individuals of protected periscopes, an endemic species of the Mediterranean, which as such is protected by law in the entire Adriatic, were destroyed. Legislation related to the use of trawl nets does not work because many fishermen fish in areas where they are not allowed. Also, many fishermen point out that there are no more fish in the Adriatic and that, not counting the islands, there are no more than 500 meters of pristine coastline.

The devastating effects of trawler nets on marine life were warned by the UN Secretary-General, who reported back in 2006 that 95 percent of the damage to the marine ecosystem worldwide was caused by trawlers tearing at the seabed. Research published in the scientific journal Current Biology states that below the limit of 600 meters, the damage to the environment is significantly increasing. Therefore, Animal Friends states: “Further allowing the use of trawler nets could only lead to even more drastic violations of the law and the destruction of our seas.”

Animal Friends Croatia concludes that the business interests of individuals should not be put before the well-being of the entire community, the Republic of Croatia, and all its citizens, and advocates a complete ban on the use of trawler nets.

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