Fish stocks in the Mediterranean are “in agony”, warns La Repubblica following the adoption of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) rulebook for 2014-2020. According to the Italian daily —

The EU data is quite clear: 95 per cent of fish stocks in the Mediterranean are threatened by overexploitation, and will be beyond recovery unless fishing is reduced by a minimum of 45 to 50 per cent within the next five years.

Unfortunately, recent trends seem to be headed in the opposite direction: hardly anything of the €4.5bn EMFF budget for the development of sustainable fishing practices in the period 2006-2013 was actually used, notes La Repubblica. Italy was among the worst performers, spending only 23 per cent of a €900m allocation. The main ‘sustainability’ policy adopted so far, an annual 45-day fishing ban, is merely a vehicle for subsidy fraud, without any positive impact on fish stocks. As a result, in the 2000-2010 period productivity dropped by 48.84 per cent and incomes decreased by 31 per cent, threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen. As for consumers, La Repubblica notes —

We’d better prepare to eat jellyfish, because only their numbers are increasing.