As the 2017 edition of Slow Fish — the international event dedicated to the world of fish and marine ecosystems — gets underway in Genoa, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella has warned that the Mediterranean Sea “is shouting for help”.
Silvio Greco, marine biologist, advisor to the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, and Chair of the Slow Fish Scientific Committee, affirms: “There are 22 different states on the Mediterranean, seven of them are members of the European Union. The risk is that the sea is going to be reduced to a res nullius and that no one will take responsibility for this ‘tragedy of the commons’. The alarm stems from overfishing, global warming, water contamination partly caused by marine littering: a central theme on the agenda at the upcoming G7 Environment Ministers Meeting in Bologna, planned for June 11 and 12.”
The Slow Fish movement says it is now vital to intervene and coordinate on a broader, international level.
“The great heritage of our sea, both in terms of both biological and economic resources, is at risk”
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries: “In recent months we have witnessed two important innovations: the signing of the MedFish4Ever Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries by ministers from 13 countries in the Mediterranean basin and the 10-country agreement on the Initiative for the Western Mediterranean. These are steps that go beyond the boundaries of the Union, set clear objectives on the sustainability and defense of marine and coastal ecosystems, and will help to create a new and collaborative system for fisheries management. The great heritage of our sea, both in terms of both biological and economic resources, is at risk. We have the precise and collective responsibility to implement these tools in the years to come. Mare Nostrum shouts for help, and it’s time to act.”
The speech by European Commissioner Karmenu Vella can be seen here.
• Slow Fish 2017 takes place in Genoa, Porto Antico (Italy) until May 21, 2017.