The fishermen are leading a hard life,the number of fishes are declining, stocks have collapsed in nearly one-third of sea fisheries, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Some fish, such as the blue fin tuna, have disappeared completely following intensive fishing. The fishermen say that the implementation of fishing curbs and other measures to keep Mediterranean and Atlantic waters alive, are affecting their traditions and livelihoods.
According to EU figures, North Sea stocks of cod (the emblematic fish in the Atlantic) have dropped by three quarters in 30 years. At the same time blue fin tuna, once the pride of the Mediterranean has seen stocks drop by 80 percent, there is a warning by the journal Science that 29 percent of seafood species had collapsed which has created a bitter cycle of recrimination.
Crisis for Mediterranean blue fin tuna is just as dire. Mediterranean used to be the commonplace for fishermen to catch tuna weighing up to 1,100 pounds. Monster size tuna are now extremely rare and fishermen are sapping stocks by catching very small tuna before they can reproduce and they place tuna in cages to be fattened so they can be sold.
The result of these acts of fishermen might commercially extinct the species in 10 to 15 years. Adra was once the most important fishing ports of the Southern Spain, 20 years ago it had 15 large trawlers and 50 smaller boats but now there are 15 in all. The stocks of anchovies were fabulously rich in waters off Morocco.
Over the past decade employment has collapsed at the rate of 6 percent per year and the fishermen are going out of business. Records show:
In Portugal employment in the fisheries sector fell from 38,700 in 1990 to 21,345 in 2004.
In Britain it went to 21,582 to 11,720.
In France 26,851 to 18,415.
Consumers in Europe scramble for seafood from remote corners of the world. The action recognized by EU has been hampered by the need to satisfy competing national interests.
In pre-Christmas rite the scientists had advised a full ban on cod catching in the North Sea, but the EU nations settled on a 14 percent cut. It is estimated that over 40 percent of blue fin tuna catches in the Mediterranean are illegally landed to escape quota constraints. Lestienne said;
When there will be nothing left, we will have to come up with solutions,we have to respect fish more. It is a luxury and it was so plentiful in the past that we forgot that… We have to educate people how to love farmed fish.