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Carmen Ortiz at Andalusian Parliament showing copies of the letters sent to the Ministry. (Photo: Junta de Andalucia)

Andalusia claims Mediterranean trawling fleet stoppage change

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Saturday, April 22, 2017, 01:50 (GMT + 9)

The Undersecretary of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of Andalusia, Carmen Ortiz, has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment to transfer to the month of October the stoppage of the Mediterranean trawling fleet scheduled for April.

The purpose of this request is that the fleet can benefit from the aid to compensate for this biological stoppage.

In the Andalusian Parliament Ortiz explained that this aid has not been convened so far due to the fact that the Ministry has not yet done its work yet and has not held the Sector Conference where funding is approved and provisions are made for the fishing modes and dates of the fishing activity stoppage that is regulated by the central Government, among which the trawling activity in the Mediterranean is included.

The Undersecretary has announced that at this Sector Conference, Andalusia will reiterate this request to postpone the trawling fleet stoppage to October, a proposal in which the biological reports of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) have been taken into account. In addition, it will require "sufficient funding".

The representative of the Andalusian Government also said that she has asked the Ministry to smooth the requirements established in the state regulations to access these aids, as "it has imposed a number of conditions that are responsible for the fact that most of the shipowners and crew who have submitted their applications to ask for compensation for the 2016 stoppages will not be able to benefit from them."

In her opinion, the Ministry has imposed a series of "very difficult to meet" requirements, such as, inter alia, the permanence of vessels in port during the entire period of the stoppage, and the obligation to keep the locating devices switched on during the entire stopping time. This entails, as the fishermen have explained it to the Undersecretariat, that technical failures are generated in the event of having to keep the devices on permanently or the inability to remove the ship from the port for repair or maintenance.

"This has caused that of the more than 300 requests submitted by shipowners and crew, only 29 have been able to accredit the requirements imposed by the central government," Ortiz stressed.

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