Fisheries Minister Miguel Arias Cañete. (Photo: Magrama)
Drastic cuts rejected for resources without scientific data
Monday, July 16, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Miguel Arias Cañete, expressed his opposition to the proposal of imposing a "precautionary principle to the maximum level" of the European fleet. This measure would involve the implementation of a drastic cut in fishing opportunities for those resources that lack adequate scientific information about its population status.
The European Commission (EC) has still not revealed the reduction percentage in total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas proposed for stocks without sufficient scientific evidence to be fished next year.
However, diplomatic sources expect it to be "important" as in 2012 a reduction of 25 per cent was attempted, the agency Europa Press reported.
"We do not agree that where there is no scientific data and, even though there is data provided by Member States about landings and in the markets of all fish products, a precautionary principle is implemented to the maximum level without taking into account the economic and social situations in areas that are heavily dependent on fishing," said the Spanish minister.
Among the species of interest to the Spanish fleet that could be affected if this criterion applies include sea bass and mullet, the newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.
Fisheries Ministers of the EU are meeting this Monday with the EU commissioner of Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, to begin to discuss the fishing opportunities for the EU fleet in 2013. Trading of quotas per country and per resources will start in October, 2012.
The European Commissioner is in favor of progressing towards multi-year and multi-specific plans, which allow the long-term management of resources, rather than deciding their catches annually.
This proposal was welcomed by the Spanish Government, which would permit an "orderly planning," pointed out Arias Cañete.
Spain is not in favor of dividing the Atlantic stocks in two areas: one of them managed solely by the EU and the other with third party partners.
- Improvements for some fish stocks: EC
By Analia Murias