Driftnets: The Problems
- Excessive impact on fauna: the illegal use of these nets involves the killing of thousands of cetaceans, turtles and sharks because this gear has a high by-catch rate.
- Illegality and fraud: the EU provided hundreds of thousands of Euros in subsidies for the dismantling and/or conversion of these fleets. However, in many cases, ship owners did not abandon the use of this gear and instead invested the subsidies to improve their vessels in order to continue fishing illegally. This constituted unfair competition for the fishermen who have abandoned the use of drift nets and seriously damaged 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 accounted for a fleet of more than 151 vessels that continued using drift nets.