05/25/22 Trawl Ban for the Recovery of the Adriatic
Animal Friends Croatia call for participation in public debate on banning bottom trawlers.
- Comment on the total ban of underwater bulldozers that change the climate and kill everything on their path.
A new consultation started regarding „The Proposal of By-Law on Issuing of Permits for Commercial Fishing at Sea Using Bottom Trawling Net – Trawl“. „We ask the institutions, scientists, associations, and all citizens, through providing comments in the public debate lasting until June 2nd, 2022, to support the immediate and the total ban of bottom trawling in the Adriatic Sea. The proposal that trawling permits are extended until March 1st, 2024, we find extremely harmful and irreparable.”, Animal Friends Croatia point out.
Animal Friends Croatia started a new campaign and a website www.zabranimo-koce.net through which they want to end their use in Croatia by educating citizens on destructive bottom-trawlers effects on the Adriatic Sea.
Numerous scientists and marine biologists, after years of detailed research and disturbing data, report on bottom-trawlers devastating effects on the marine ecosystem. The United Nations Secretary-General warned about this back in 2006, stating that 95% of the damage to the marine ecosystem around the world was caused by bottom trawlers that, through their use, destroy the seabed, affect the global warming, pollute the planet and kill hundreds of thousands of marine animals every day. 80% of the Adriatic Sea bottom was destroyed by trawling!
Another shocking fact is that bottom trawlers emit the same amount of carbon dioxide as the entire aviation industry. Croatia is amongst the top ten countries in the world whose fleets emit the most harmful gases and is one of the EU countries that are most negatively affected by climate change. Each year, trawling releases one gigaton of carbon from the seabed, causing sea acidity that adversely affects the productivity and the biodiversity of the species.
Trawling impoverishes fish underwater settlements, removes seagrass, and devastates coral reefs and marine animal habitats by damaging the marine ecosystem. As a comparison, 25 million hectares of forests are cut down annually, while bottom trawling destroys 3.9 billion hectares of submarine habitat.
Animal Friends Croatia clarify that it is also horrifying that bottom-trawlers, through their non-selectivity, catch and destroy everything that is in their way. According to the Research of the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC), in the Mediterranean, during the last 50 years, 41 % of sea mammals and 34 % of total fish were lost. The highest loss is recorded in the Adriatic Sea with a loss of 50 %.
More than 200 researchers have called upon the European Union to ban trawling permanently because more than 90 percent of the Adriatic's resources have been depleted and significant damage to the ecosystem is visible.
Animal Friends Croatia point out that the legislation related to the bottom-trawlers use is not providing the results because many fishermen catch in areas and at times when they are not allowed at all, as well as in the protected marine areas. The only solution is the total trawl ban, without the wait or the delay. Therefore, they invite everyone to join the public consultation and give their vote for an urgent and total prohibition of trawlers in Croatia.
More information on destructive trawler effects and why it is necessary to ban them urgently, as well as instructions on how to participate in the public debate, can be found on www.zabranimo-koce.net.