06/02/22 Adriatic Sea Destroyed by Bottom Trawling

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Associations, institutions, and experts give support for the ban on bottom trawling

- Today is the last day of public consultations on banning trawls that destroy the habitat and life in the sea

Animal Friends Croatia launched a new campaign and a web page with the goal of providing information on bottom trawls’ devastating impact on the Adriatic Sea and for the purpose of its total ban.

They received support from various institutions and associations for the environment protection, sea and animals, as well as from experts who are against the bottom trawling devastating impacts on the sea ecosystem and the climate. Voice in favor of bottom trawls ban in Croatia was given by the Sea Shepherd Croatia, Extinction Rebellion Croatia, Greenpeace Croatia, Victory Association, Sharklab ADRIA Center for the Marine and Freshwater Biology, Society for the Environmental Research Paks, Fridays For Future Croatia, Eko Pan, Association for the Protection of Nature and Environment and for Promotion of Sustainable Development Argonauta, Association Eko - Zadar, Association Eko Zagreb, Association Green Click!. Support was also received from dr. sc. Maja Novosel, the expert consultant with the Biology Department of the Faculty of Science, the University of Zagreb at the Marine Biology Laboratory as well as associate prof. dr. sc. Petar Kružić at the Biology Department of the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb.

The consultation on the „Proposal for By-Law on Issuing of Permit for Bottom Trawl Commercial Fishing at Sea” is ongoing until today, the 2nd of June, until midnight. „We kindly ask all that by commenting in this public discussion provide the support for the urgent and total ban of bottom trawling in the Adriatic Sea. The proposal that permits for trawling are extended until 1st March 2024., we consider extremely harmful and wrong for the already disturbed and extinct marine ecosystem”, Animal Friends Croatia point out.

Between 50 to 80 % of the European Continental shelf is regularly endangered by trawling, with great sea disturbances such as the Adriatic Sea, North Sea, and the Western part of the Baltic Sea, typically along coastal areas. The Adriatic Sea is one of the affected; as much as 80 % of the sea bottom is destroyed by trawling!

Many scientists and marine biologists, after detailed years of research and disturbing data, report of devastating bottom trawls’ impact on the marine ecosystem. Trawling impoverishes fish underwater settlements, removes seaweed, devastates coral reefs and sea animal habitats, emits the same quantity of carbon dioxide as the entire aviation industry, causes sea acidity, impacts global warming, pollutes the planet, changes the climate and on daily basis kills hundreds of thousands of sea animals out of which many are endangered and facing extinction.

According to the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC) research, in the Mediterranean, during the last 50 years, 41% of sea mammals and 34% of the total amount of fish were lost. Of these, the largest losses were recorded in the Adriatic Sea with a loss of 50 %.

Animal Friends Croatia points out that the law regulation in relation to the use of bottom trawlers is not providing the results because many fishermen trawl in areas and during the periods when trawling is not even allowed, such as in protected marine areas. Oceana’s analysis showed how in 2020 more than 2,5 million hours of bottom trawling were in areas intended for the protection of Europe’s most valued and the most endangered marine species and habitats. The only solution is the total bottom trawl ban, and that is without the wait and delay. They, therefore, ask all to engage in public consultations and give their voice for the urgent and total bottom trawl ban in Croatia.

More than 200 researchers asked of European Union that bottom trawl is permanently banned because more than 90 percent of the Adriatic resources are depleted, and enormous damages are seen within the entire ecosystem. „It is estimated that by 2050 there will be no more fish in the seas and the oceans if we continue to fish at this pace and using destructive methods such as bottom trawling“, Animal Friends Croatia appeals.

More information on destructive bottom trawl impact and why it is necessary to urgently ban them as well as how to engage in public consultation is available at www.zabranimo-koce.net.

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