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Director General of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Technological Innovation of Galicia, Mercedes Rodríguez. (Photo: Xunta de Galicia)

Galicia calls for condition equality for Galician and Portuguese fleets

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Thursday, June 15, 2017, 22:40 (GMT + 9)

Director General of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Technological Innovation of Galicia, Mercedes Rodríguez advocated a framework of equality between the Galician and Portuguese fleets under the fisheries agreement between Spain and Portugal in order to avoid discrimination between fleets that work with the same resource and for the same market.

In the Galician Parliament, the official explained that with regard to the trawler fleet, on May 19 Xunta and the sector reached an agreement that affects that request for equality and was forwarded to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment "for it to be taken into account".

The director general indicated that these aspects were agreed in the framework of the Trawling Sector Commission of the Galician Council of Fisheries and are concretized in three points.

One of them is to maintain the same position agreed by the sector commission in May 2014, regarding fishing at weekends. This consists of including the technical measure to prohibit fishing by means of smaller trawling gear at weekends in the bilateral fisheries agreement with Portugal for trawlers operating under this agreement in Spanish jurisdictional waters.

The second one of the agreed points is that "the Galician fleet having a Spanish flag operating in Portuguese waters must maintain at least the same technical conditions of access to the waters and the resources contained in the bilateral fisheries agreement with Portugal".

Finally, the third point draws attention to the existing imbalance in the use of fishing opportunities resulting from the current agreement to the detriment of the Spanish fleet.

However, Rodríguez emphasized that the fisheries agreement with Portugal is also of interest for the purse seine and for artisanal vessels.

Regarding the duration of this agreement of 2014, he recalled that it has a duration of two years, automatically renewable for a period of one year, provided that neither party expresses the will to end its effects. In this regard, he pointed out that, in the face of negotiations for the next one, "contacts are being made between Spain and Portugal before formally initiating the negotiations", a process for which the Xunta has the support.


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