Fishermen at the the port of Barbate. (Photo: nauticajonkepa.wordpress.com)
Without Morocco, Barbate fishermen undergo 'disastrous' situation
Thursday, December 13, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
After a year since the European Union (EU) has decided not to extend the fishing agreement with Morocco, fishermen from Barbate (Cádiz) fishing in the waters of the African country are awaiting a solution to be able to return to Moroccan waters “as soon as possible.”
According to the main chief of the Fishermen Association of Barbate, Alfonso Reyes, "in Barbate the crisis faced by the whole Spain is double."
It has been one year since 14 December, when the European Parliament (EP) vetoed the extension of this covenant. The entity argued then that it caused the overexploitation of some species and it was illegal because it would interfere with the resources of the Sahrawi people.
The veto forced some 70 Spanish ships -- from Andalusia and the Canary Islands -- to immediately leave the fishery ground, EFE agency reports.
According to Reyes, the veto was "the last straw" for some 20 vessels from Barbate, almost half of the fleet, to become paralyzed.
"What we want is to fish," stressed Reyes. And he ensured that so far no news on the settlement of a new protocol has been received or if there are intentions to extend government’s aid.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government must decide whether to extend the aid to fishermen and vessel owners affected by the termination of the bilateral agreement.
Meanwhile, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Miguel Arias Cañete, stated he had "the impression" that the negotiations with the Moroccan government "have been streamlined by the European Commission (EC )."
In addition, he also expressed confidence that an agreement is approved "with immediate provisional application" for the fleet to return to the Moroccan fishery ground to fish and not to be dependent on "aid which has a maximum duration period."
However, these statements do not appease the uncertainty faced by the fishermen and owners of Barbate.
- Barbate fishermen on alert due to the failure of agreement with Morocco
By Analia Murias