Carlos Domínguez at a meeting with Opescantábrico representatives. (Photo: Magrama)
Government promises to review fishing quotas allocation in Northwest Cantabrian
Friday, April 13, 2012, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
The head of the Secretariat General of Fisheries from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Carlos Domínguez, promised the representatives of the Association of Fish Producers of Biscay (Opescantábrico) to review the capture quota allocation in the Northwest Cantabrian fishery among the different fleet types.
The central government took this decision after participating in a meeting with members of the fishermen associations, who asked them to analyse the current distribution of fishing opportunities. The fishermen complained that the amounts awarded to the trawl fleet are "excessive", the newspaper La Opinion reported.
According to the purse seine and small-scale fleets, the allocation managed by the previous administration benefits trawlers and harms small-scale fishermen. Therefore, they require a “fairer” allocation.
“There were up to seven agenda items of the day but basically this issue was the one addressed. We were told that they would review it but it is not a guarantee that something will be changed,” commented in relation to the meeting Xoán Manuel López, secretary general of the Galician Federation of Fishermen.
He added: "The Government argues that the current distribution is not their responsibility and therefore, if there are changes, they will have to be applied in the future, in coming years."
The leaders attending the meeting also asked Domínguez to create a comprehensive management plan for the coastal fleet so as to manage its fishing opportunities.
"We support co-management if we are to be made responsible for our quotas. The secretary general believes that this approach can contribute to progress and the European Union (EU) is also responsive," added López.
Domínguez said the EU is promoting a ban on fish imports from countries performing unsuitable practices "so as not to only tighten the belt to the community fishermen."
Opescantábrico manager, Enrique Paz, told EFE agency that in the allocation of catches artisanal vessel employment level should be a priority.
In addition, he requested the Spanish official that under the quota exchanges among countries, Spain should offer a fewer proportion of its quota of mackerel in non-Spanish waters and should allocate a higher amount to the boats from Biscay.
Finally, the fishing industry representatives that met with the secretary general of fisheries asked him that when managing mackerel in the EU there should be a distinction between that coming from "waters of the North" and that from the "waters of the South."
Meanwhile, from Thursday, Spain requires all fishing vessels from Galicia, the Basque Country, Asturias and Cantabria a horse mackerel weekly capture quota in the waters of the Northwest Cantabrian.
For fishing with purse seine, the Government determined that the catches and the landings of the Spanish fleet may not exceed 12,000 kilograms of horse mackerel per boat per week.
This volume will be applied in the offshore waters of the Northwest Cantabrian fishing grounds, and shall not exceed the ceiling of 6,000 kg per day.
For fishing with gear other than purse seine and trawl, catches and landings shall not exceed 200 kg of horse mackerel per vessel per week.
- In search of appropriate management for horse mackerel
By Analia Murias