Subject: Drfitnets and marine mammals

(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 26 May 1994 08:18:56

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Subject: Drfitnets and marine mammals
 
From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 24-MAY-1994 14:00:24.78
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Subj:	driftnetting in the mediterranean (fwd)
 
Date:         Tue, 24 May 1994 10:36:18 PDT
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
              <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
              <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
From:         Robin Baird <rbaird@sol.uvic.ca>
Subject:      driftnetting in the mediterranean (fwd)
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
 
Forwarded message:
From: Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara <gnstri@imiucca.csi.unimi.it>
Message-Id: <9405241729.AA27428@imiucca.csi.unimi.it>
Subject: no subject (file transmission)
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 19:29:18 METDST
Mailer: Elm [revision: 70.85]
 
BLACK CLOUDS OVER MEDITERRANEAN DOLPHINS -
CONSEQUENCE OF THE NEW POLITICAL COURSE IN
ITALY?
 
Large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing for swordfish in the
Mediterranean has in the past caused ingent cetacean mortality,
particularly involving striped dolphins and sperm whales, but
also including in the bycatch fin whales, Cuvier's beaked
whales, long-finned pilot whales, and bottlenose, Risso's and
common dolphins.  The greatest share of the responsibility for
such environmental damage belonged to Italy, as more than
90% of the overall driftnet fleet in the Mediterranean was
Italian.  Concern for striped dolphin by-catch levels, judged
unsustainable, was expressed in the report of the Workshop on
Mortality of Cetaceans in Passive Fishing Nets and Traps, held
in La Jolla, California, 22-25 October 1990.
 
As a result of international pressure, the European Union
subsequently issued a ban on driftnets longer than 2.5 km for
European citizens.  Such measure greatly improved the situation
in the Mediterranean, where swordfish driftnets used to have a
mean length of 12 km, although it was soon found that
numerous Italian vessels continued to fish with nets illegally
exceeding that limit.  This was made possible both by the
complacency of part of the Italian marine authorities, and by the
peculiarities of maritime law in the Mediterranean, where
Exclusive Economic Zones do not exist.
 
Today, taking advantage of recent changes in the Italian
political scenario, a delegation of proponents of the resumption
of large-scale driftnet fishing in Italy was received by the
newly-elected minister of Agricultural [and Marine, my note]
Resources, the neo-fascist Adriana Poli Bortone.  The
following is an excerpt of the minister's declaration after the
meeting, as reported by ANSA [the major Italian news agency;
the translation from the Italian is mine]:
 
"During the next meeting in Bruxelles on 26 May, the Italian
Government will request that nets 8-9 km long be permitted in
the Mediterranean, and that the implementation of the European
Directive that regulates driftnetting be postponed until year
2002.  Furthermore, the minister WILL DISPATCH A
REQUEST TO ALL COAST GUARD STATIONS,
RECOMMENDING TO THE AUTHORITIES NOT TO ACT
AGAINST FISHERMEN VIOLATING THE LAW WHILE
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION ARE
PENDING".
 
I am informed that Europe Conservation, the World Wide Fund
for Nature (Italy) and Greenpeace (Italy) are now considering
the undertaking of all possible action to stop such a sinister
revival of ecocidal fishing policies, and a blatant instigation to
break  the European law.
 
Dear MARMAM and ECS-ALL readers, here is a way for you
to contribute to marine conservation in our beleaguered
Mediterranean.  Please send a fax to the minister expressing
your concern for the Mediterranean pelagic environment,
inclusive of cetaceans, birds, marine turtles, all sorts of
cartilaginous and bony fishes, and why not, the swordfish,
which has been severely depleted by driftnetting:
 
Hon. Adriana Poli Bortone
Minister of Agricultural Resources, Rome
fax: ++39-6-4746178
 
Your support is greatly appreciated.  I will keep you posted on
developments.
 
Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
Tethys Research Institute
gnstri@imiucca.csi.unimi.it
fax: ++39-2-29401987