Last week was a good week for us at Oceana as we closed the month of September with a bang! It’s been a month of victories and good for our work here in Europe, and there is nothing more rewarding than realizing that our efforts are actually making a difference. We therefore thought we’d highlight a couple for you.
First piece of great news: The commission finally called Italy out on its continued use of illegal driftnets, threatening to take the country to court if they don’t tighten their grip on their fleet. Oceana has been monitoring Italy’s illegal use of driftnets for years and this move comes after we alerted them of our discovery of illegally caught (using driftnets) albacore from Italy being sold in Spanish markets. The Commission’s decision suggests their strong commitment to enforcing the EU’s driftnet ban, and we are thrilled! We hope they go further and use their clout to put pressure on Morocco and Turkey, both of which have put similar bans in place, to ensure their fleets are abiding by the regulations.
Second piece of great news: The Spanish Ministry of Environment has proposed a number of marine species to be included in the Listado, a list that protects those on it from being killed or damaged. We’ve been hammering at them for months, providing them with any and all information required to protect those species we believe are at risk. They have now announced that following the legal process 11 more shark species as well as some algae and sponges will be protected.
As you can see, we are giddy and excited to continue pushing forward with all of our efforts. Keep an eye on our blog, and we hope we’ll have many more victories to tell you about in the coming months!