in Marseille, fishermen exasperated by a proposed decree which would force them to record their catches on an application

The interregional directorate of the Mediterranean Sea is considering a draft decree to oblige recreational fishermen to record, on an application, all the catches they make. The opinions are mostly unfavorable.


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Fishermen in Marseille (Bouche-du-Rhône), October 4, 2023. (Illustration) (GARDEL BERTRAND / HEMIS.FR / HEMIS.FR)

The draft decree aims to identify fish in the creeks. The interregional directorate of the Mediterranean Sea plans to require recreational fishermen to record, on an application, all the catches they make on the perimeter of the Calanques National Park and its surroundings. This fishing area would be more than 130,000 hectares large. This would apply to both sea and coastal fishing. The decree is still far from being applied, but it is already enraging many Marseille fishermen.

After several hours in the sun on a dike at the water’s edge with a friend, Guillaume puts the fishing rod away empty-handed. No problem, this Marseillais is mainly here to enjoy the good weather. So when we tell him that soon he might have to record everything he catches, we spoil the fun a little. “It has to remain recreational fishing, he said. If you have to, each time you make a catch, write it down and then differentiate between two fish of the same variety… It shouldn’t become a chore either. We come here to relax one morning a week.”

159 unfavorable opinions out of 164 contributions

In the draft decree, it is via an application, Catch Machine, that amateurs should record their catches. Enough to boil Yves Tambon, head of a Marseille fishing school. “I think those who did this, they never set foot in the sea, he asserts. There’s no point in doing investigations like that, we had to ask ourselves. We’re not going to have fun picking up the smartphone with wet hands. Their story is completely incomprehensible.”

During the public inquiry, carried out in November regarding the application, 159 of the 164 contributions were unfavorable opinions. The interregional sea directorate indicated that it would review its copy.

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