Fishermen threaten to block Malta's ports over tuna ban
Give us an appointment with EU Fisheries commissioner or face blockage on island’s ports, say 300 Italian and French fishermen.17 June 2008
VALLETTA, MALTA - A group of some 300 Italian and French fishermen have protested outside the offices of the EU delegation in Malta on Tuesday and warned that they will block the island's ports unless they are given an appointment with EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg.
The fishermen are protesting over the EU decision to ban purse seiner fishing for blue fin tuna.
The protestors are insisting that poor weather has limited their fishing time and they have not yet reached the fishing quota set by the EU.
They added that it was unfair that fishermen from other countries such as Croatia and Libya were continuing to fish for tuna.
A spokesman for the group said the fishermen would await an appointment with Borg - a Maltese national - in Brussels or in Malta.
The EU banned fishing for blue fin tuna using purse seiner nets from last Monday.
Purse seiners are considered to be the main culprits of the recent depletion of tuna stocks as hundreds of fish are caught in one go.
According to estimates, at the height of the season, in June, the EU purse seine fleet was capable of catching 10 per cent of the EU's total annual quota in just three days.
[dpa / Expatica]