Overfishing has become the scourge of our times, said noted chef Lefteris Lazarou, WWF‘s new campaign ambassador.
Over 82 percent of the fishes in the Mediterranean are being overfished and in the last 40 years up to 50 percent of the sea life on the planet has disappeared. The fishery products lost globally could feed up to 20 million people every year. 11-26 million tons of fish of total value ranging from 10-23 billion dollars are illegally fished.
In light of the tremendous repercussions that overfishing casts, WWF calls for consumers, enterprises, and entities to support fishery sustainability and the responsible consumption of fishes through its new campaign Fish Forward.
Lazarou urged that we “must stop considering the small fish a treat. It is a myth. The fish must keep its juices, to have the right weight and size in order to be cooked and to enjoy it. A small fish is not a treat, it is a murder. We must stop buying baby fish. Let’s leave the fishes to grow in order to have them in the future,” he said.
Speaking to ANA-MPA, WWF director Dimitris Karavellas noted: “We have the example of Spain and Italy that through the protection of the sea region, fishing sustainability had impressive results. The population of fishes increased, the fishermen’s income rose, the consumers secured a better quality of fish, and traders offered more competitive products”.
Greece is a country in which fishing constitutes a main part of its productive net. Greece currently has 24,000 registered fishermen and imports 36,000 tons of fish from over 40 countries, but 62 percent of the Greek people do not know where they can find sustainable fisheries.
“For how long can we leave this valuable capital to go to waste, a capital that could contribute to the country’s financial development and to the prosperity of the people that work in the fishing sector.”
Referring to the role of the State, Karavellas stressed: “In order for fishing to be sustainable it needs a vision and political volition, distribution rules and the implementation of the law.