Unfair competition, market distortion in favor of unscrupulous operators, the depletion of global fish stocks, fewer jobs. These are only some of the costs of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishery, a worldwide phenomenon that produces an annual turnover of over 10 billion €, and reaches substantial levels in European waters. A phenomenon of vast proportions, partly fueled by massive flows of public funds. And Italy, among the European countries, plays a crucial role in stealing and squandering public founds and destroying the sea. Just to give you an idea, in Italy, about 100 vessels, many of whom repeatedly fined for illegal fishing with driftnets (spadare and ferrettare), received 13.8 million € in aid between 1999 and 2010. One of the worst examples is the fishing boat “Sibari II”. Between 2005 and 2006, the vessel “Sibari II” was penalized three times for illegal fishing with driftnets. In June 2006, 11 km of driftnets were confiscated to the same boat along with 1/2 ton of swordfish and 150 kg of tuna. A few months later the “Sibari II” received governmental public grants for a total of 545.000,00 €. Just to keep up, Spain and France follow the Italian example!
Recently 89 European and international organizations, have called on the EU President Barroso to honor the Commission commitment to end environmentally harmful subsidies. In 2006 the EU committed to defining a road-map for the removal of environmentally damaging subsidies by 2008. The European Commission reiterated this commitment in 2007. And in 2010 the Europe 2020 Strategy stressed the need to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies. This is in addition to numerous calls by EU heads of state and the European Parliament for the phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies.
Want to know some more about part of the disgraceful and shameful fishery world? Check these out:
- Fish Subsidy
- EU’s sustainable development strategy
- Fishy Business (video)
- Shifting Baselines (video and more)