ANACEF Cephalopod fleet. (Photo: Terje Engoe)
Cephalopod producers reject agreement with Mauritania ratification
Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
Representatives of the National Association of Cephalopod Producers (Anacef) presented to the Spanish Government the fact that the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament (EP) should not ratify the fishing pact signed with Mauritania.
This new agreement excludes 24 Spanish cephalopod vessels, belonging all of them to Galician companies, which from Tuesday stopped fishing in the Mauritanian fishing zone.
The affected sector met with the Secretary General of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Carlos Domínguez.
After the meeting, Anacef managing director, José Ramón Fontán, recalled that the 24 cephalopod vessels generated a turnover of EUR 50 million and directly employed 400 workers.
Anacef requested Domínguez that the pact "should be reconsidered" and that the Community authorities should not ratify it in its current form, the newspaper Faro de Vigo reported.
To Fontán, the committed reached by the European negotiators and Mauritania is a "disaster" and is "based on erroneous scientific information."
The bilateral agreement is valid for two years and will enable about 70 European boats to continue working.
On the other hand, the spokesperson for the fishing department in BNG, Bieito Lobeira urged the president of Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to travel to Brussels to "demand the resumption of negotiations" with Mauritania.
Lobeira also claimed that the EP "should reject the agreement."
Furthermore, from PSdG, Deputy Carmen Gallego considered the fisheries protocol between the EU and Mauritania is "bad news."
Spokesperson for Fisheries, Marisol Soneira, believes the agreement "certifies the disappearance of the Galician cephalopod fleet."
The Minister of Marine Affairs of Galicia, Rosa Quintana, criticized the working pre-agreement signed by the Commissioner of Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, with Mauritania.
In this regard, she said she did not understand her "stubbornness" on a deal that "does not favour any of the member states, any sector of those working in the waters of Mauritania and that is very expensive," the newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.
Finally, the president of the National Association of Seafood Fishing Freezer Vessel Owners (Anamar), Ángel Muriel, said they want "the ratification to be blocked from the start."
The conditions imposed by the new protocol "are not technically or economically bearable for our fleet," argued Muriel, according to EFE agency.
- New EU-Mauritania fisheries agreement causes concern in Spain
By Analia Murias