Fishermen unloading horse mackerel. (Photo: FIS)
Horse mackerel fishery closed for the third time
Friday, August 17, 2012, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
The Directorate General of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama) decided to temporarily close the horse mackerel fishery in waters ranging from Finisterre to the Cantabrian -- area known as VIIIc.
The Galician Federation of Fishermen’s Associations said the government informed them via e-mail that fishing would cease in order to count the captures and verify if they have met the established fishing quotas.
According to the members of the associations, the news takes them "by surprise," La Opinión reported.
In addition, they assured they would take action in this regard because in the latest talks with Magrama, they were confirmed the set regulations had been complied with and they could continue fishing.
On 10 July, the Government reopened horse mackerel fishery for the purse seine fleet in Ixa to alleviate the difficulties of the fleet.
"On Tuesday we received a last minute e-mail in which we were reported that we had to stop capturing as a precautionary closure," the federation president, Benito González, commented, outraged that the communication arrived "on the eve of a bank holiday."
So far, the fishermen have not received "any response" from the government authorities.
"The Ministry of Agriculture in Madrid is being contacted to give us an explanation. And there is no reply, nobody answers the phone," the leader added, the agency Europa Press informed.
The temporary closure matches the publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) of the order reducing horse mackerel catches up to a maximum of 4,000 kg per boat per week to improve the sustainability of the species and ensure its catch.
However, González believes that this measure seems to be "a contradiction."
"If the European Union (EU) wants to put an end on us, it should be once and for ever. The only companies that feed the people are the sea ones," complained José Pérez, one of the main heads of the association of Ribeira, in a statement to La Voz de Galicia.
- Horse mackerel fishery reopened
By Analia Murias