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In the Mediterranean, science is next to fishing

In the Mediterranean, science is next to fishing

NGOs, fishermen and researchers work hand in hand to develop action plans to combat the disappearance of species. Studies at Bastia aim to develop sustainable dental hunting

With an area of ​​2.5 million square kilometers, the The Mediterranean Sea It constitutes, since ancient times, a vast playground for professional fishermen and yacht fishermen. Rich environment, with strong economic attractiveness, but in which 75% of fish communities are overexploited*. The result: since the beginning of the first decade of the twenty-first century, scientific studies have revealed the serious deterioration of some species, such as European hake, red mullet, red shrimp, sea rose shrimp, red buffalo and langoustine, which are receiving special attention at the European level. .

For others, the situation is very worrying because they are not subject to any follow-up. Therefore, it is impossible to accurately assess the evolution of the number of individuals and the impact of human activity on their population. Each year, 240 species are landed in France (catch, editor’s note)And the asks Caroline Gamblin, a fisheries engineer and director of fisheries for MSC France, which fights overfishing in the Mediterranean. Among them, only 64 have been evaluated by scientists. »

However, players in this sector are noticing the effects of the scarcity of these species. “This summer, a heat wave in the Mediterranean has driven out bluefin tuna and swordfish, Explains Daniel DeVoso, head of the Corsica Fisheries Commission. As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t set my tuna ration. Not because there was nothing left, but because there was nothing in the house. On the other hand, fishermen in Brittany, the English Channel or the North Sea had some. Before, they had not seen color. » While some groups of fish suffer from higher temperatures in the Mediterranean, the problem is quite different for others.

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Conservation of dentex traps

Conical teeth are of great hygienic importance** for professional and recreational hunting, Eric Dureux, health ecology researcher and coordinator of the action plan for the dentex fisheries in Corsica explains. This feature makes it a particularly vulnerable species, despite the fact that we are dealing with a large predator. »

The Dentix is ​​an emblematic fish of the Mediterranean, and it is one of the ten main species landed in Corsica. Very popular for its soft and mellow meat, it is on the menus of the island’s upscale restaurants, and until recently suffered from a lack of resources and knowledge preventing its protection and the emergence of sustainable fishing. Built in MedFish (read elsewhere) Developed by the WWF and MSC, dentex is today at the heart of coordinated thinking among NGOs, scientists and fishing stakeholders.

* SOMFI Report “The Status of Fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea 2020”.