Interpel.lant al Comissari Borg (i de pas a Barroso): xarxes de deriva marroquines i Tonyina a Cites

Demà a les 15.00 compareixerà davant la Comissió de Pesca i Afers marins de Parlament Europeu el comissari Joe Borg. Tinc previst interpelar-lo sobre dues qüestions de gran actualitat i dramàtica urgència. En primer lloc sobre la postura de la seva Direcció General en relació al fet que alguns països, entre els quals França, Regne Unit, Holanda, Polònia o Alemanya (Espanya no, de moment) hagin secundat la proposta de Mònaco d’incorporar la Tonyina Vermella a la Llista I de CITES, per tal de prohibir-ne el comerç (veure apunt No queda més remei: és hora de prohibir el comerç internacional de la Tonyina Vermella ). El tema va aparèixer recentment al Financial Timesen un article prou motivador (EU considers bluefin tuna protection, signat per Stanley Pignal). De fet, el mateix Durao Barroso, necessitat com està de suavitzar les coses amb els Verds, podria pressionar per tal que tirés endavant la proposta monegasca (el col.legi de Comissaris es reuneix la setmana vinent, dimecres, per parlar-ne); i em consta que DG ENVi també tampoc hi veu massa motius per oposar-s’hi. M’interessa per tant saber què en pensa Borg.

El segon tema, també preocupant, és el que denunciava avui WWF en relació al fet que, malgrat les importants ajudes de la UE per ajudar el Marrroc a acabar amb l’ús de les xarxes de deriva, aquestes segueixen existint i provocant enormes desastres en forma de captures que després venen a països de la UE. WWF ho explica perfectament en la nota:
Illegal fishery in Morocco to feed European consumers, que adjunto també transcrita més avall. La resposta a aquests dos temes, entre d’altres, seran un bon indicador sobre les intencions de la DG Mare i de la Comissió Europea, i suposaran també un bon termòmetre per mesurar la temperatura de la reforma en marxa de la Política Pesquera Comunitària (un dels temes estrella amb què es trobarà la Presidència espanyola a partir del 2010). (segueix…)

 

Illegal fishery in Morocco to feed European consumers

Posted on 31 August 2009

Rome, Italy – – The practice has been banned in the Mediterranean since 2003, yet a large fleet of driftnets – fishing nets up to 14km in length that drift with the tide or current and catch almost anything in their path – continues to operate business as usual in Morocco, targeting swordfish for the European market.

This illegal fishing is likely to have caused the accidental deaths of as many as 20,000 dolphins and more than 100,000 sharks in the past five years alone, says WWF.

Fisheries experts from WWF recently visited Morocco where they were told by driftnet fishermen that no changes in the fishing activity of this illegal fleet had occurred in the past few years – despite international prohibitions.

“Fragile ocean life is still being destroyed by widespread driftnet fishing – against the law – in Moroccan waters,” said Dr Sergi Tudela, Head of Fisheries at WWF Mediterranean.

“This lack of compliance by Moroccan fleets not only undermines the credibility of the international fisheries management governance system, but also takes an unacceptable toll on marine biodiversity.”

“Thousands of dolphins and sharks – and loggerhead turtles, an endangered species – are caught up in these walls of death in the Mediterranean every year,” continued Tudela. “WWF demands action by those responsible for sustainable fisheries management in the region to stop the slaughter.”

Fishing with large-scale driftnets has been internationally banned by the United Nations since 1991. In 2003, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted a more rigorous regulation, banning the use of any driftnets, irrespective of size, for capturing large fish in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2003, WWF released the results of a field study that showed the presence of at least 177 driftnet vessels in northern Morocco that used large-scale gears and targeted swordfish for export to the European market. The study also estimated an accidental catch by driftnets of 4,000 dolphins every year in the Mediterranean Sea alone.

Since 2003, Morocco has repeatedly promised to phase out its driftnet fleet, but has still not done so. According to UN and ICCAT resolutions, this fishery thus fully qualifies as illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

And in January 2010, the European Commission’s Regulation on IUU will enter into force, which prohibits the importation of fishery products obtained from IUU fishing into the European Union (EU).

The EU has even made available to Morocco a total of € 3.75 million for the phase-out of driftnets, and WWF urges the European Commission to demand reports from Morocco on its use of EU public funds for the specific purpose of phasing out its driftnet fleet.

“The current illegal driftnet fishery in Morocco, targeting swordfish for the European market, is a test-case for the credibility of the EU’s determination to fight illegal fishing,” continued Dr Tudela.

“WWF urges the European Commission to send a strong signal to Morocco about its political commitment to stamp out illegal fishing – or fully apply the IUU Regulation in January 2010.”

Foto: Vaixells de pesca marroquins. Font: WWF – Canon / Emma Duncan

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