01/24/23 Scraping Brings Hope for Marine Life
Animal Friends Croatia invites bottom-trawler owners to apply for the repurposing of their fishing vessels by January 31
-Applications are currently accepted for compensation to fishing vessel owners for permanent cessation of fishing activities
The Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture has published a public call for participation in the permanent cessation of fishing activities for 2022-2023. Owners of bottom trawlers and sardine purse seines have an opportunity to submit a request for financial support as part of the permanent cessation of fishing activity measure by destroying their fishing vessel or converting it to fit another type of activity outside the realm of a commercial fishery. Scraping involves the destruction of fishing vessels, or, alternatively, permanent cessation of fishing by means of the fishing vessel, tool, and equipment buy-off. State support for the implementation of this measure has been secured by the EU (70%) and Croatia’s state budget (30%). The deadline for financial support requests is January 31, 2023. The request form and a list of necessary documents are available from the managing authority’s website.
Animal Friends Croatia welcomes the measure for permanent cessation of fishing activity believing that it is crucial for the safeguarding of the Adriatic Sea ecosystem and its biological diversity. They remind us that bottom-trawling causes enormous damage to ocean life. It is a non-selective fishing method; it pollutes the marine environment with discarded fishing nets and tools; it releases as much carbon dioxide as the entire aviation industry; it causes disturbance to the marine sediment and destroys biological diversity.
Bottom-trawling significantly impoverishes fish stock, removes seaweed, and devastates coral reefs, algae, underwater forests, and other aquatic habitats. Over the last 65 years, bottom trawlers have discarded over 400 million tonnes of by-catch, including endangered and protected species such as marine mammals: dolphins, Mediterranean monk seals and sea turtles.
“Many countries around the world have already banned bottom-trawling, which has resulted in the recovery of the marine flora and fauna and subsequently led to a greater interest in scuba diving tourism. Some fishermen, formerly involved in bottom-trawling, recognized this opportunity and used the Ministry of Agriculture’s measure to repurpose their vessels for scuba-diving. This has resulted in their greater satisfaction as they no longer labor in difficult fishing conditions, as well as a higher financial reward, all the while their conscience remains clear. We invite everyone to whom this measure may apply to make use of it and improve their own life while improving marine life. We believe bottom-trawling will soon be banned in Croatia, which is pivotal to the efforts to safeguard the Adriatic Sea and further develop our tourist potential,” Animal Friends Croatia state enthusiastically.
Furthermore, they call on the public to sign the petition for an urgent ban on bottom trawling at www.zabranimo-koce.net. The site also lists all arguments for the required fast action to safeguard Croatia’s one and only sea. They recommend two documentaries: Seaspiracy and Eating our way to extinction which clearly depict the alarming situation of our seas and oceans.
Animal Friends Croatia emphasises that the best way to save the marine ecosystem is to remove fish and other seafood from our menus, the inspiration for which may be found in the Green Dishes for the Blue Seas cookbook.