Despite a world-wide ban by the United Nations in 1992 and by the European Union in 2002, the driftnet fishery continues illegally throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Driftnets are banned because they take large quantities of unwanted catch, called bycatch, putting populations of migratory fish, sea turtles and cetaceans at risk.
We interview Xavier Pastor of Oceana, a global marine conservation organization. He leads a team of scientists, photographers, and videographers who are systematically documenting the use of illegal driftnets throughout the Mediterranean. With over 500 driftnet vessels operating illegally in the region, researchers and conservation groups are concerned that marine species are being pushed to the edge. In this episode, we investigate the fishery and examine why it still occurs today.