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The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna has been an important and emblematic part of Mediterranean culture for centuries, fascinating even ancient Greek and Latin philosophers because of its impressive size and fast speed. Yet these magnificent creatures, sometimes called tigers of the oceans, find themselves under strong fishing pressure and need our support.

The problem of discards is one of the greatest failures of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). If you follow our blog you’ll have read about it in the past. The numbers are disgusting – truthfully: 1.3 Million tons of marine fish (and other organisms) are discarded and dumped overboard (dead most often than not) by EU fishermen every year.

Astroides calycularis

We estimate that since the beginning of the 21st century, 70 million tonnes of fish have been caught and afterwards discarded dead, 110,000 hectares of sea-grass meadows that were home to thousands of organisms have been destroyed and 99% of the species in danger of extinction still lack conservation plans.

The oceans are taking a beating, plain and simple. Here’s what Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe has to say:

Imagine if Spaniards only ate fish from their own waters. Yesterday, Spain ran out of its own fish stocks, and now will have to depend on imports from other countries - for the rest of the year.

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) seen from outside the net in a tuna cage. Malta. Marviva Med Mediterranean Expedition. June 2008May 8th marked Fish Dependence Day in Spain, about two months ahead of Fish Dependence Day for the entire EU. Alarmingly, these dates are arriving earlier every year. Meaning that, because our own stocks are being over-fished, we have become increasingly dependent on foreign imports. While our grocery shelves are stocked with seemingly endless supplies of fresh, glistening fish, about half of the fish available in the EU comes from other countries – not a good sign for the health of our global fisheries.