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 Mallorcan 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 indiscrimitavely 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 will allow us to have a more defined picture of what kind of infractions occur in the Balearic Islands with fishing sector and its commercialisation.
This study will allow us to define the most relevant/significant infractions in the commercialisation of fish, compromising the efforts to advance towards marine conservation and sustainable management of the fishing resource.
The results of the study will allow us to better define the strategy to be followed and the necessary actions to end illegal fishing and commercialisation of fish in the Balearic Islands.
- Find out the real situation of illegal fishing in the Balearic Islands: illegal fishing study.
- Release the results to raise awareness among the population.
- Work with fishermen, restaurants and consumers to develop a certification system or improve an existing one.
- Carry out a campaign among consumers for responsible consumption.