In Bulgaria, it is Fish, not Mandarin Oranges that are connected to St. Nicholas | WWF
In Bulgaria, it is Fish, not Mandarin Oranges that are connected to St. Nicholas

Posted on 19 December 2019

Campaigners warn that overfishing threatens to turn fishermen into the next endangered species.
In Bulgaria, Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated as the Day of Fish and Fishermen. According to an old tradition, many Bulgarians go to the market to prepare special fish dishes. But are they aware of the role that our consumer behavior plays on the future of the world's fish stocks? To satisfy our hunger for seafood, today we are catching more fish than the oceans can provide. And this affects both marine ecosystems and local fishing communities.

WWF-Bulgaria celebrated the event with a thematic flash mob. Representatives of WWF dressed as fishermen passed through the center of Sofia telling the visitors what is happening to the fish and to those 800 million people around the world who depend on fish and fishing. The activists distributed Fish Forward Seafood Guides along the way. The Guides are available for download in many European languages here. The activity was part of the Fish Forward Campaign which runs in dozens of countries across the planet, including Bulgaria and Romania, and aims to drive the European market and global fisheries in a more sustainable direction. A responsible choice of seafood in Europe is a global driver for change. Campaigners warn that overfishing threatens to turn fishermen into the next endangered species.
 
Fish and seafood are the most traded commodities globally, and 33% of them are overfished. As a result, global stocks have declined by almost half over the last 40 years. The European Union is the largest seafood market on the planet, making the role of European consumers very important. To help the consumers, WWF has developed recommendations to promote responsible seafood choices that ensure the preservation of fish and seafood in the future.
 
European Fish Dependence Day 2019 fell on July 9 this year, the date that marks the moment when the EU relies on fish and seafood imports for the rest of the year in order to meet consumption demand. Slovakia ran out of domestic fish resources on February 18, Romania on February 29, Bulgaria on June 1, and Hungary ran out on August 17.

 "We don't have to give up fish and seafood. However, it is important to select products that are caught or farmed in a way that conserves fishery resources and the people who depend on them. Sustainable management of ocean stocks can significantly increase the income of the fishing industry. This ‘hidden’ potential is estimated at about $ 83 billion, "says WWF-Bulgaria country director Veselina Kavrakova.

Overfishing is the second biggest threat to the oceans after climate change. Together, these dangers can significantly reduce the productivity of the fishing industry and leave the Southern Hemisphere without fish. WWF’s New Deal for Nature and People campaign aims to halt biodiversity and habitat loss, and halve our consumption footprint by 2030; including the protection of fish populations and their consumption.
 
In this regard, WWF has prepared a special educational game that combines fun with useful information. With the Finprint game, people can measure the climate footprint they leave on the atmosphere, depending on the type of seafood they consume and how it is captured and transported.
 
Please remember to keep this information in mind when shopping for your Christmas carp or fish soup. In particular, if you are looking to put something luxurious in a Christmas stocking, only purchase legally farmed sturgeon products and avoid products from strictly protected wild sturgeon – all of which are illegal.
 
For more information:
Kalina Boyadzhieva
Events Officer,
WWF-Bulgaria
kboyadzhieva@wwf.bg, Tel: +359 878 843 494
Representatives of WWF dressed as fishermen passed through the center of Sofia
© WWF-Bulgaria
The activists distributed Fish Forward Seafood Guides
© WWF-Bulgaria
We don't have to give up fish and seafood. However, it is important to select products that are caught or farmed in a way that conserves fishery resources and the people who depend on them
© WWF-Bulgaria
The EU is the largest seafood market on the planet, making the role of European consumers very important.
© WWF-Bulgaria