According to a recent research from the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), fish population in the Mediterranean Sea is showing a continuing and alarming decrease in the last 20 years.
The figures are extremely worrying. While in other parts of Europe, especially those in the Atlantic Sea, there has been a stabilization or even an increase of fish stocks in the last decade, in the Mediterranean, the situation is getting worse.
Greek Researchers of HCMR, led by Paraskevas Vasilakopoulos have proposed stricter surveillance of fishing activities in the Mediterranean and better implementation of the existing regulations.
The research showed that fishing has intensified since the 1990s. More and more fish are caught at a very early age. However, if these young fish were allowed to reach maturity in order reproduce at least once, then there would be a significant improvement in fish stocks in the Mediterranean.
The dramatic situation in the Mediterranean has also been highlighted by the European Commission. A report presented by the EC a few weeks ago showed that 96% of demersal fish populations and 71% of pelagic species such as sardines and anchovies have been damaged by overfishing.
On January 1, 2014 the EU enacted the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, which among other things establishes maximum limits for fishing based on scientific research. The new framework also restricts the practice of “discards,” i.e dumping surplus fish back into the sea.