Mediterranean fish stocks deteriorate ‘at alarming rate’

DW – April 3, 2017

Fish stocks in the Mediterranean are being depleted at an alarming rate, with the sea’s biodiversity increasingly under threat by pollution, climate change and overfishing, a group of researchers that advises the European Union said on Monday.

In a study published in the “Scientific Reports” of the journal “Nature,” the Joint Research Center (JRC) said 93 percent of assessed fish stocks were overexploited. It added that any further delay in transnational action “could result in irreversible damage and a collapse of key stocks that are essential to the fisheries sector.”

In another worrying finding, the JRC said that the Mediterranean had lost 41 percent of its marine mammals and 34 percent of its total fish population over the past 50 years, with the biggest depletions being found in the Western Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea (-50 percent), and the smallest in the Ionian Sea (-8 percent).