EU drive to protect Mediterranean fish

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s fisheries chief unveiled a plan yesterday to prevent the extinction of Mediterranean marine species including swordfish and octopus, already at dangerously low levels due to years of overfishing. Under the proposals set out by EU Commissioner Franz Fischler, fishermen would use nets with bigger holes, preventing them from catching young fish, and trawlers would stay out of coastal zones. «This proposal is a fresh approach to achieve sustainable fishing to safeguard the future of 100,000 fishermen,» he said in a statement. Species such as hake, swordfish, octopus and sardines – firm favourites on Mediterranean dinner tables – are on the danger list. EU members Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and Greece all fish in the Mediterranean.