By Nuria Perez
MEASURES to protect the fishing grounds in the Mediterranean Sea and enable overfished species to recover were drawn up last week.
Taking part in the talks were the Ministry for Fishing, the regional governments of Andalucía, Murcia, Valencia and Cataluña – along with environmental associations including Greenpeace, Oceana, SEO/Birdlife, WWF and Ecologistas en Acción – as well as scientists of the national oceanographic institute (IEO) and representatives of fishermen’s guilds.
The agreed measures and plan will have to meet protection guidelines set by the European Commission, which in turn will discuss the proposals with north African leaders.
According to the environmentalists, 93% of fishing stocks in the Mediterranean Sea are overexploited and the IEO scientists have warned that marine protection areas have to be extended and catches drastically reduced to enable fish stocks to recover.
The ministry has agreed in principle to increase the marine protection areas and fishing in the Ebro Delta is to be banned.