Protection of the Mediterranean Sea and the Gishanda Fish Farm in Rwanda

Italy, France, Spain and Cyprus will create a marine protected area in the extraterritorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea to achieve the European Union’s objectives for the protection of the seas and biodiversity. This programme will be part of the European Green Deal and the “30 by 30” initiative proposed at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity. It aims to contribute to 30% of protected areas on land and sea by 2030.

Greek authorities have asked  EU representatives to intervene in the case of illegal fishing by Turkey in Greek territorial waters. In early January this year, a Greek Coast Guard patrol vessel attempted to identify three Turkish fishing vessels fishing in the sea area southeast of the island of Farmakonisi but was obstructed by a Turkish vessel. According to the Greeks, this is a common practice to challenge Greece’s sovereignty over these waters and cause an incident between the two countries.

The owners of the solar-powered and water recycling-equipped Gishanda Fish Farm on the shores of Lake Gishanda, Rwanda, raise tilapia and restock the lake’s waters. Previously uncontrolled poaching had depleted the tilapia population in the reservoir – over time, there was a shortage of fish to eat and for trade. So far, the farm has released 100,000 juvenile fish into the reservoir, aiming to produce around 30t of tilapia per year. At least 10% of these will be sold to 600 local farms around the lake for half the market price. This could stop illegal fishing and improve the diet of the villagers.

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