Mediterranean fishermen break rules, fish die out-report

April 19, 2011 09:52

Based on latest research by IUCN scientists, the report was the first detailed assessment by the organisation -- which links governments, environmental and nature groups and academic institutions -- of the native marine fish for an entire sea, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Reuters Africa.

 Although some national and European Union quotas are in place for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic, it said, these were being widely ignored and catches were frequently under-reported.

 Overall, more than 40 fish species found in the waters between southern Europe and northern Africa could disappear within the next few years unless governments acted to enforce regulations, reduce quotas and create new marine reserves, according to the Swiss-based organisation.

 The report, to be included in the IUCN's running "Red List" of threatened species (www.iucnredlist.org), was released following another study showing that fast-warming oceans could be pushing many fish to extinction. (ID:nL3E7FI18V]

 The study, by Australian scientists and published in the journal Nature Climate Change, said the warming of sea-surface temperatures and the resulting increased acidity slowed fish growth rates and damaged coral reefs where they breed.

 This could be especially serious for many commercial fish which do not move much, one author of the study said.

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