Europêche president Javier Garat confirmed most EU vessels will not request the fishing permits. (Photo: Europêche)
Three EU fleets not to use fishing permits in Mauritania
Friday, August 03, 2012, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
The secretary general of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca) and president of Europêche, Javier Garat, confirmed that "a very large majority" of the European fleet decided not to ask for fishing permits which are included in the new agreement signed between the European Union (EU) and Mauritania.
As Garat stated, the vessels from Poland, Lithuania and the Netherlands have waived these permits because the cost is "unaffordable," the newspaper Faro de Vigo reported.
The new fishing deal excludes 24 boats of the Spanish cephalopod fleet and allows 70 EU vessels to fish in Mauritanian fishing grounds, where shrimp, tuna, demersal species and pelagic species can be caught.
In addition, cephalopod vessels from Portugal, Italy and Greece were excluded from the bilateral pact.
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Miguel Arias Cañete, after meeting with the associations of owners affected by this agreement, said that not all Spanish fishing vessels would make use of the granted permits.
Garat said shellfish ships from Andalusia will not go to the Mauritanian waters to fish and it is likely that bottom longliners and hake ships will not do so either.
Instead, the owners of the freezer tuna vessels expect to use the fishing permits.
In this regard, the head of the National Association of Freezer Tuna Vessels (Anabac), José Luis Telletxea, stressed the special items and the "different situation" of this fleet. He explained that by engaging in the capture of a highly migratory species, this requires shipowners to have fishing permits in the countries bordering the African coast.
For his part, Arias Cañete recalled with concern "that the EC has negotiated a fishing agreement through which the EU would pay EUR 140 million in two years for not fishing in Mauritania, in addition to the EUR 80 million the sector intended to pay."
Meanwhile, the president of the Shipowners' Association of Marín, Andrés Guiance, warned that "the agreement with Mauritania will make the port of Marín become a dead port."
"The treaty will result in the loss of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and of EUR 60 million," he warned.
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