Germany’s media group DW reports that some 93 percent of researched fish stocks in the Mediterranean are overexploited, citing new evidence from the EU’s Joint Research Centre, claiming that more than a third of the sea’s total fish population has vanished in the past 50 years.
This is another example of the EU being mobilized far too late. Why did the EU not intervene decades ago? Perhaps the answer includes absence of strategy, excessive bureaucracy or powerful national vested interests in play?
Personally, I love to eat fresh fish. Even in Cyprus, where we live, renowned for fresh fish, I’m aware that much of the fresh fish is farmed. I live in Latchi, a traditional fishing port – I noticed long ago that the fishing boats rarely leave port, probably because there are EU incentives not to fish. Similarly, one of Greece’s major industries is fish farming, including seabass and sea bream exported to the supermarkets of Northern Europe.
On a recent trip to Tasmania, I was alerted surprised at the size of the salmon fish farming industry, including adding coloring agents for Japanese consumers. On the North Island of New Zealand fresh fish was rare apart from sea food. However, I remember visiting New Zealand’s South Island some ten years ago and massive factory ships trawling the ocean were common. When I was working in Sydney, in my twenties, there was a huge variety of fresh fish.
By comparison, a month ago my wife and I were visiting French Polynesia, where the oceans absolutely team with fish. But in French Polynesia they have very strict control on the type of fishing.
Although I voted ‘Remain’, this is a perfect example of EU mismanagement.