Eurofish Magazine 2 2016

Page 37


Italy aims to achieve MSY for its fisheries by 2020

Pushing a management plan for the Central Mediterranean Riccardo Rigillo, General Director, Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies represents Italy in the negotiations on a multinational, multiannual management plan for the Central Mediterranean. A plan is necessary to safeguard certain valuable stocks, such as crustaceans, and to point fisheries in the Mediterranean in the direction of sustainability. The discard ban and the landing obligation for small pelagics has now been in force for a year. Has the introduction of this legislation had an impact on pelagic fishermen’s behaviour? As discards may not be used for human consumption when they are landed, what alternative uses are foreseen for this material? Can the Italian experience be used as a model for other countries in the Adriatic? The Italian experience has been strictly coordinated with other Adriatic EU countries. Discard plans – submitted by Italy, Croatia and Slovenia - have been adopted at EU level. At present we do not experience major problems with undersized catches that – if present – are well under the “de minimis” percentage exemption. The only problem that our fishermen are experiencing is additional work on board that of course slows down operations. We will probably start experimenting with ways to use landed undersized demersal catches in the near future. One of the solutions being contemplated is the use of this by-product as a means to produce bio-gas. On the same topic, the landing obligation for demersal

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Riccardo Rigillo, General Director, Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture, Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies

species is being phased in between 2017 and 2019. In a mixed demersal fishery as seen in the Mediterranean many experts feel that this may not be the optimal way to reduce catches of unwanted fish as the reasons for discards are so varied. How can this legislation be

implemented in a way that also responds to the misgivings of the specialists? The CFP demands us to work on landing obligation for target species, because the target species of each fishery are those through which both unwanted

catches and effort can be regulated. That is why we need to identify the species that lead the fisheries in order to regulate catches and effort on the entire mix. The need to reach MSY by 2020, is paramount for us and this will be the main tool to get the result we want.

Eurofish Magazine 2 / 2016


05/04/16 11:10 AM