Saturday, 1 November 2014

Illegal Med fishing claims up to two tons of swordfish per boat per day

Inadequate controls and monitoring off Italian coast could lead to collapse of swordfish population in next three years, warn conservationists

Arthur Neslen in Brussels, Wednesday 29 October 2014 16.24 GMT

A rampant lack of controls is allowing fishing boats in the Mediterranean to illegally pluck huge quantities of swordfish from waters off the Italian coast, according to an internal report by EU fishery inspectors.

One boat can catch up to two tons of swordfish per day.

The detailed investigation, conducted in March last year and obtained under a freedom of information request, found poor enforcement of fishing season closures by local authorities in southern Italy, with very few landing inspections of the active fleet.

Swordfish catches were often authorised by officials after the season’s close, and swordfish meat was visibly on sale in local shops and markets, and easily available in local restaurants.

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