The annual battle against foreign fishing fleets using illegal nets in Balearic waters is about to start again, with a French fleet apparently on its way to the Balearics in search of tuna fish. According to sources in Alicante, the trawlers from the ports of Vendres and Seté operate with highly sophisticated detection equipment for catching the tuna, which is a migratory species and already in short supply in the Mediterranean. For this reason, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Spanish authorities have been trying to fight off the illegal fishing fleets since the mid-nineties. The Italian trawlers will not be far behind and every year the Spanish authorities seize a number for fishing with nets larger than the European Union permitted size. Last year Greenpeace called on the services of a spotter plane to help locate illegal trawlers and the Spanish navy, with the support of Italian coast guard vessels, helped comb Balearic waters to protect the tuna population, which has been declining sharply over the past five years.

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