Learn more: More information about driftnets

Drift nets are made of nylon and they have a mesh size between 18 and 24 centimetres (although they can exceed 40 cm in some cases), a height of 35 meters and a length of up to 20 kms (the nets are comprised of panels that are attached to each other to reach the desired … Read more

Our Position and Recommendations

During the last few years, Oceana has carried out campaigns to control and report the use of illegal drift nets, both through our observers in ports and through our high-seas campaigns on board the Oceana Ranger and the Marviva Med. During this time, we have located and reported French and Italian netters that continue fishing … Read more

The Case of Morocco

During the decade of the 90s, there was a significant increase in the number of vessels in the Moroccan fleet dedicated to fishing with drift nets. Among these, roughly 300 longliners temporarily or permanently used this fishing gear. This transformation was influenced by an increase in the demand for swordfish from the EU and the … Read more

Learn more: The Case of Italy

Italy is one of the most notorious cases. The Italian driftnet fleet has undergone various conversion plans that began over 10 years ago and were financed with public funds. However, Oceana located more than 137 vessels with illegal drift nets on board and has documented the fleet using these nets.  Italian legislation allows the use … Read more

Learn more:The Case of France

French drift nets known as thonailles were used to catch pelagic species, including immature bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Lion. This illegal gear was used with connivance and support from the French government, taking advantage of a legal loophole in EU legislation.  However, Oceana reported these vessels since the ban on drift nets came … Read more

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 … Read more

Learn more: Legislation

In 1991, the United Nations General Assembly put into effect an international moratorium prohibiting the use of drift nets. In 1992, the EEC prohibited the use of drift nets longer than 2.5 kms. On 1 January 2002, the EU approved a new regulation prohibiting the use of driftnets to catch species including bluefin tuna, swordfish … Read more

IUU Fishing: Achievements

For years, Oceana has been reporting the use of illegal driftnets in the Mediterranean. Thanks to the organisation’s work, drift nets have been eliminated in the French fleet and the European Commission has had to take measures against Italian drift netters. The European Commission, and in particular Spain, collaborates with Morocco to convert the Moroccan … Read more

IUU Fishing: What Oceana Does

Oceana works against IUU fishing on three fronts: Oceana on board. During our campaigns on board the Oceana Ranger, we locate and film illegal fishing activities and inform authorities so they can act. This is evidence of the lack of existing control measures. Oceana reports. The information we collect during our campaigns allows us to … Read more