Sardine fishermen. (Photo: Stock File)
Fishermen to be compensated for sardine fishery closure
Monday, October 20, 2014, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
In response to complaints from the affected sector, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Affairs, Assunção Cristas, clarified that it is not possible to review sardine fishing limits and lift the ban in effect since 19 September, when the country extinguished the quota.
The minister said that studies are underway to determine if the natural stock recovery is going well, and stressed that the available data do not indicate that this is happening.
"The latest scientific data that were collected by international institutions indicate that we can not continue [fishing]. But this is, of course, a very sensitive issue," admitted Cristas.
Meanwhile, she announced that the fishermen affected may request compensation from the State, as it is set in the current legislation, Renascença reported.
"We want to be a sardine fishing country today, but also in five and ten years’ time. We must have a responsible attitude, trying to compensate people who are in a difficult situation and, in some cases, even dramatic, so compensations are going to appear quickly," she said.
Given this situation, the Association of Purse Seine Fishing Producers (ANOPERCO) requires the Executive to review the management plan of marine species stocks. Otherwise, the industry will be paralyzed from January 2015, warns the president of the organization, Humberto Jorge.
"Until early next year there is time to make the necessary scientific studies to assess the status and size of the resource. A new ban can not take place in 2015 without that certainty," stressed the director at a congressional hearing.
Moreover, he was convinced that "if in 2015 this fleet is again granted about 150 to 200 days’ sardine fishing ban, it will not survive."
- Portuguese sardine fishery faces new setback
By Analia Murias