Trap net fishers. (Photo: Organizacion de Productores Pesqueros de Almadraba)
Trap net fisheries lose the struggle to obtain Basque bluefin quota
Friday, April 20, 2012, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
The managing director of the Fish Producers Organisation of Trap Net Fisheries (OPP-51), Marta Crespo, regretted that the Federation of Fishermen’s Associations of Guipúzcoa has decided to sell 70 per cent of its quota for bluefin tuna this year to the company Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos SA.
The trap net fisheries of Conil, Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes and Tarifa -- "the artisanal ones as well as the Basque ones" -- had struggled to obtain the same percentage.
Crespo recalled that for years "they have been struggling to obtain the quota belonging to the Basque Country" but so far fishermen from the Basque Country have never taken the decision to sell it.
In the trap net fisheries from Cadiz it is said they do not understand why the Federation closed the deal with the business from Murcia if the offer had been the same and considering they have “so many things in common.”
Even when "the Basque Government itself has shown opposition to the concentration of fishing rights in the large multinational firms," the director of the OPP-51 noted.
Another interested party in the bluefin tuna quota belonging to the Basques was the company Balfegó.
"It would have been fair and equitable if the quota had been sold among the three interested parties, taking into account that they were offering the same amount," Crespo added.
The leader expressed her hope that the Federation "has second thoughts" about situation and "this does not happen again in the future."
"We should be considered as trap net fisheries and their fishermen need it," said Crespo, according to Europa Press.
As Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos has a stake in the trap net fishery of Barbate, it will benefit with an increase in catch quotas.
For this reason, the possibility that that trap net fishery is out of the Organization has been considered: "Within the OPP of trap net fisheries the four of us have always made purchases together and have always distributed them among all," Crespo stressed.
"We are disgusted and disappointed because of what has happened. Basque Fishermen are artisanal fishermen, like us. We have even encouraged common initiatives to require the closure of the industrial purse seine fishery, which is the one that is putting an end to the species. It is frustrating to see that that artisanal quota is being transferred to the purse seine fleet and it ends up being concentrated in the hands of a large company," concluded OPP-51 leader, Diario de Cadiz reported.
- Guilds from Gipuzkoa sell 70 pc of bluefin tuna quota
By Analia Murias