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A longliner boat anchored in a Galician port. (Photo: O roxo - CC BY-SA 2.0)

Galician coast fleet strike complicates fish supply

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Friday, February 22, 2013, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

Since last Wednesday, trawlers fishermen, gillnetters and surface longliners have adhered to a spontaneous strike, which is going to cause fish shortage at Muxia, Burela, Ribeira, Celeiro, Muros markets, and in some Asturian ones as well, from Friday.

Shipowners and patrons of the coastal fleet contacted vendors and wholesalers to announce that they would stop providing fish from today.

"We will allow the boats that are still fishing to bring the catches this morning and sell them tomorrow [for today], but there are few at sea now: three off Marin and four or five off Cedeira, and I know that one is on its way to port," Javier Sar, Muxia shipowners’ spokesman said.

The union’s demonstration is managed from A Coruña, where it has set up the operation centre, newspaper La Voz de Galicia informed.

The protesters showed a banner summing up one of their main concerns: 'We are fishermen, not traffickers '.

To date, purse seiners have not joined the protest.

Fishermen complain that they are suffering pressure from inspectors when they weigh their catches at the landing dock instead of in destination places, and because of the use of the electronic logbook and by increasing penalties.

For the industry, this situation will worsen with the enforcement of the point system license.

Shipowners and employers say they want to be allowed to fish and refuse to be treated as if they were "criminals".

"The quotas are so ridiculous that we simply can’t make ends meet," complained Basilio Otero, patron of Burela Brotherhood.

While Amador Pita, shipowner of Pescorial, claimed that, "a ball of thread is worth a kilo of fish."

Meanwhile, Ribeira shipowners’ sources argued that the sector faces "a shortage of fishing quotas", the "complexity of onboard use of the electronic logbook" and the introduction of weighing regulations, Europa Press agency reported.

Related article:

- Fishermen call for ERS moratorium

By Analia Murias



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