For Shame: Baby Swordfish Massacre!

"Wrong on [so] many levels" - That was one of the comments (among many that I dare not repeat in this blog space) on the YouTube video that was forwarded to me by Ken Hinman, president of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation.

"There are no words to describe this," writes Hinman. None, at least, a really necessary. But "shocking" is one that comes to mind, certainly neither clicheic nor hyperbolic in this case.

Unfortunately, at this point, there seems to be little information about these longliners, presumably in the Mediterranean, or their motivation for killing what appear to be 5-pound swordfish one after the other. A Google translation of the information on You Tube in Italian offers this cryptic result from the Italian news service that ran this footage:: "Fishery associations and political forces are fighting to amend the Community rules on fishing bans fishing: the use of the hook no. 7 with the technique of the line makes a real slaughter of small swordfish."

More information may be forthcoming soon but in the meantime, one can only gasp in horror and wonder how often is this scene repeated on how many longline vessels (breaking how many rules). Although the minimum size for Mediterranean waters is now about three feet in length, this video offers some idea how effective enforcement is there. Shame on these broadbill-baby killers!