Driftnets: The Problems
- Excessive impact on fauna: the illegal use of these nets by countries like France, Italy or Morocco involves the killing of thousands of cetaceans, turtles and sharks because this gear has a high by-catch rate.
- Illegality and fraud: the EU has provided hundreds of thousands of Euros in subsidies for the dismantling and/or conversion of these fleets. However, in many cases, ship owners have not abandoned the use of this gear and instead have invested the subsidies to improve their vessels in order to continue fishing illegally. This constitutes unfair competition for the fishermen who have abandoned the use of drift nets and seriously damages fisheries that are already overexploited.
Seven years after being banned and after four consecutive years of Oceana reporting on these illegal activities, Italy and France alone account for a fleet of more than 151 vessels that continue using drift nets.