Mallorca’s waters were once full of fish, providing the island with local seafood caught by small-scale sustainable fishermen. Industrial overfishing has devastated fish stocks and now only 10 percent of seafood sold in Balearic Islands is local. The rest is imported from commercial fisheries all over the world. Most of the remaining fish is caught by 35 Mallorca trawlers, which damage the seabed and have a high bycatch of sharks and juvenile fish. There is also high pressure from unregulated ‘recreational fishing’, which has become an illegal commercial business and lobster gillnets continue to indiscriminately entangle non-targetted species.
However, 20 per cent of the Balearic sea and 40 per cent of internal waters is under form of legal protection and these marine protected areas have started to restore fish stocks. There is a growing awareness from consumers about the provenance of fish on their plate and a growing demand for high quality, sustainably caught seafood, which fetches a high price.
Marilles Foundation, Blue Marine Foundation, Ibiza Preservation Foundation, Menorca Preservation Foundation, Conservation Collective, and Mallorca Preservation Foundation have joined forces to carry out a study that allowed us to have a more defined picture of what kind of infractions occur in the Balearic Islands with fishing sector and its commercialisation.
As a result of research carried out between 2020 and 2021 shedding light on fishing practices in the Balearics, it was determined that the problem of illegal, undeclared, and unregulated fishing is prevalent across the four islands, with a small yet significant number of professional and recreational fishermen, as well as restaurants and traders, committing infractions regularly, compromising the efforts to advance towards marine conservation and sustainable management of the fishing resource.
In 2023 Calant Xarxes Alliance was founded by the balearic foundations IbizaPreservation, Mallorca Preservation, Menorca Preservation, Marilles Foudnation, and the English foundations the Conservation Colective and Blue Marine Foundation.
The aim of the Calant Xarxes Alliance is to become a platform for dialogue to share knowledge and best practices amongst its members, fishermen associations, producer associations, local authorities, restaurants, supermarkets, and NGOs to work towards improvements in the Balearic fisheries sustainability.
- Advance responsible sourcing of seafood in the Balearic Island Domestic Markets.
- Drive Improvements in the Balearic Fisheries.
- Find out the real situation of illegal fishing in the Balearic Islands.
- Coordinate the Calant Xarxes alliance to Align objetives, find sinergies and exchange knowledge among its members.