The illegal markets across the world are flourishing, be it of rhino horns or tiger bones and skin or rare bred of exotic fishes, right under the much-claimed supervision of the concerned authorities.
So, is the condition with the critically endangered bluefin tuna. The species’ conservation plan in the Mediterranean has sailed through just a few weeks, and disappointingly, 11 spotter planes are recently found to be “apparently” working with a fleet of fishing vessels, even when using spotter aircraft has been banned by the ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) as they make over-fishing very easy.
This is all happening in the Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily right under the nose of the concerned authorities – but, why and how?
Though, the answer is apparently not known, the message between the lines can be easily read by anyone wiser – be it the big guns’ pressures or perhaps also happening under their stringent supervision.
Shocking the investigators working for Greenpeace, who spotted these openly practiced illegal activities, they not only witnessed, but also documented the fishing activities of three Italian purse-seining vessels.
Ironical on the part of the fish’s security, one of these vessels was found to even not having a licence to fish tuna!
Presenting evidence to the European Parliament’s fisheries committee on this illegal fishing of the endangered species, Sebastian Losada of Greenpeace Spain said,
It was blatant. The owners of the spotter planes did not even attempt to disguise what they were doing.
Reacting to the Greenpeace’s discovery, the fisheries minister, Mr Bradshaw said,
I was given a clear undertaking by Joe Borg two weeks ago that there could be no toleration of non-compliance. If these reports are confirmed it is very serious and Britain could expect very serious action to be taken by the Italian authorities.
* Is it that the European Commission is not enforcing EU rules equally against all member its states?
* Or, is it some high politics being played and this is just the tip of the iceberg exposed?
But, whatever be the ‘game,’ feeding the illegal Japanese suchi and sashimi market along with Britain, it is the tuna which will definitely collapse if this level of over-fishing goes on.