FISHERY IN ADRIATIC: LAST CALL FOR JAKUBA PIT - CROATIA MUST PLAY ITS PART
On the eve of the Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries (Malta, 29-30 March 2017) Greenpeace in Croatia, NAŠ Jadran, Ad Adriaticum, BIOM, Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance, Eco Hvar, Udruga Održivi Otok, and Udruga Zdravi Grad urge Minister Tomislav Tolušić to promote the full protection of the Jabuka Pit from bottom trawling and set longliners.
In the Adriatic Sea bottom trawling has been particularly intense in the last decades leading to the depletion of key demersal species such as European hake which is fished 5.5% over the sustainable limits, according to the Adriatic Recovery Project, and the destruction of marine habitats. The Jakuba Pit is one of the few deep sea areas of the Adriatic, hosting vulnerable marine ecosystems and the most important nursery and spawning grounds for hake, Norway lobster, horned octopus and monk fish, all of which are key species for the fishing fleets operating in the area. The importance of the Jabuka Pit area for benthic and demersal species is linked to its physical and oceanographic characteristics, which support the presence of Essential Fish Habitats in this area.
Croatia has been calling for the protection of the Jabuka Pit for a long time, but as most of the area falls in offshore waters which are an important fishing ground for the Italian fleet, conservation measures should be agreed within a multilateral framework. Last February the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) discussed a proposal to establish a Fisheries Restricted Area in the Jabuka Pit closed to fishing activities such as bottom trawling and set longliners.
On the 29-30 March 2017, the EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella will host a Ministerial Conference in Malta on Mediterranean Fisheries. The Ministers are expected to sign a declaration and a list of commitments to improve the state of fish stocks and fisheries in the region.
“This is a key opportunity for Croatia to finally achieve the protection of the Pit contributing to the recovery the Central Adriatic and of the many species that depend on its ecosystem, that should be strongly supported. The protection of the Jakuba Pit is a crucial testing ground for Croatia’s commitment to recover fish stocks in the Adriatic Sea. We call upon Minister Tolušić to promote strong actions at the Ministerial Conference towards the long lasting protection of this key vulnerable area.” - stated representatives of the united NGOs and civic initiatives
Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Agriculture
Ulica grada Vukovara 78, 10000 Zagreb
Dear Mr Minister Tolušić,
Croatia has called for the protection of the Jabuka Pit area for several years. It is the most important nursery and spawning grounds in the Adriatic Sea for key commercial species such as European hake, Norway lobster, horned octopus and monk fish.
Most notably the Jabuka Pit area is the main nursery ground in the Northern and Central Adriatic Sea for European hake, a key demersal resource.
Fishing activity in the Jabuka Pit area influences the entire Northern and Central Adriatic demersal fishery and the status of the stocks.
Over the years, intensive bottom trawl fisheries has depleted demersal fish stocks and caused significant impacts on the marine ecosystems, leading to a loss of marine biodiversity, decline in catches and the related economic and social crisis in the fishing sector.
It is now time to reverse this trend and we strongly believe that the protection of the Jabuka Pit should be the first fundamental step in this direction.
Last February a proposal was presented to the the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterreanan, to establish a Fisheries Restricted Area (FRA) in the Jabuka Pit. The proposal develops the elements of Croatia and Italy 2015 joint initiative to ban bottom trawling in a portion of the Pit area, and introduces additional management measures to consolidate the potential recovery benefits for the stocks and the related fisheries.
On the eve of the Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries (Malta, 30 March 2017) we therefore urge you to lead the way on the recovery of the Adriatic Sea and its depleted fish stocks by taking a strong and public stance on the protection of the Jabuka Pit by supporting the establishment of a FRA banning bottom trawling.
We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss our priorities, and how we can work together to ensure that your personal commitment to marine protection and sustainable fishing is translated into a successful outcome in the forthcoming negotiations on the protection of the Jabuka Pit.
On behalf of undersigned organizations,
Greenpeace in Croatia / Greenpeace u Hrvatskoj
Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance (CASA)
Udruga Zdravi Grad
Udruga Održivi Otok