The quota is set to 10 500 tonnes in 2017 and will fall by 3 % per year from 2018 to 2022.
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Partially overexploited in the Atlantic, to the brink of collapse in the Mediterranean, swordfish (Xiphias gladius) was obtained on Monday, November 21, the first protection measures to be serious. So far in the Mediterranean, to the difference of the fishing areas of the ocean, no catch quota is not decreased the appetite for this big fish popular among consumers. The international Commission for the conservation of Atlantic tunas (Iccat), which also works on several species of shark and swordfish, as its name suggests, has adopted a maximum limit of capture new. It took several days of intense discussions at Vilamoura in Portugal, for the fifty countries who sit on this body alongside the european Union to reach this agreement.
The swordfish mediterranean that can reach 500 kilograms, form a single stock, genetically distinct from that of the Atlantic. To save him, the european commissioner Karmelu Vella in charge of environment, maritime affairs and fisheries has proposed to limit the catch 10 500 tonnes per year. Who had already advocated the adoption of a recovery plan in 2015, has finally been followed this time and is looking forward to this ” decisive step towards the preservation of the stock, “.
A weight means which is constantly decreasing
Brussels advocates in addition to a reduction in the quota of 3 per cent per year between 2018 and 2022, and a series of measures of control and surveillance against illegal fishing, because the commercial pressure is strong on this species that can reach 24 euros per kilo. Highly coveted, it is currently fished mainly by fleets from Italy (nearly half), Morocco, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, as well as those of fifteen other States – including France –, which also come to tap into this stock… A specific working group should establish the allocation between the fishing countries in early 2017.
In practice, however, these are less of swordfish to go up on the bridge. After strong growth in the early 1980s and a peak reached in 1988 with 20 400 metric tons, the catches were then capped in the Mediterranean, fluctuating between 12 000 and 16 000 tonnes per year, before falling back, officially, to 9 800 tonnes in 2014. While he was fishing this year, there were 10 800 tonnes in the North Atlantic and 9 900 in the South Atlantic. Bad sign : the average weight of the landed catch continues to decrease everywhere. The world wide Fund for nature, WWF, ensures that 70 % of the specimens caught are juveniles which have not yet reached the ability to reproduce.
Also would it be difficult to predict whether these new rules will be enough to save swordfish from the deep blue sea. First, they arrive late so that not only the NGOS but also scientists of the Iccat alert for a long time on the decline of this stock. And Oceana – a group in which include the Pew Charitable Trust and the Oak Foundation – is leading a campaign for its conservation for the past twelve years.
in addition, it should be that these decisions apply to. However, the fishermen have always shown themselves restive regulations in this region of the world. Even on the coasts of the european Union, the professionals have done so to escape the quotas up to now, except in the case notable for the bluefin tuna. This species was on the brink of extinction when the members of Iccat and have committed to setting a catch limit in 2006, after a strong mobilization of the defenders of the marine ecosystem. The maximum rate initially set at 32 400 tonnes has been severely hardened until 2012 (12 900 tonnes), before rising slightly, the scientific committee of Iccat, who diagnosed a recovery of the bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean since then. A Vilamoura, on Monday, the decision was taken to maintain the same catch rates in 2015 : 15 821 tons.
in the Face of the degradation of the stock of swordfish, some States had already established seasonal closures of several months from 2008, while the international organization of fishing was also imposed on sizes of catches to a minimum. But the mysteries of fishing are not simple : the experts who work for the Iccat wonder if this has not led the ships to dismiss more fish… in Short, the incentives to moderation have not proven to be sufficient.
Denouncing the reactions are too slow to Iccat, NGOS criticize him also his lack of ambition. And point to a lack of transparency in the market. Oceana points out in particular that Italy imports four times more swordfish costs (16 363 tons) that it captures itself. It therefore depends on the Spanish production, which in turn provides, in part, in Morocco. However, the data of the fisheries of the kingdom are not reliable, estimates the NGOS saw as its exports exceed its reported catches. Result : ocean or sea, it is difficult to know which side of the strait of Gibraltar from the fish sold. However, while the state of the mediterranean ecosystem has sparked the publication of many alarming reports recently, these conservation efforts, although limited, mark may be a beginning of awareness.