Fishing vessels from the Spanish fleet. (Photo: MARM)
Due to overexploitation, Spain’s fishing quotas are cut for 2013
Friday, August 09, 2013, 23:20 (GMT + 9)
The European Commission (EC) reported that about 800 tonnes are to be reduced from the fishing quotas of the Spanish fleet in 2013 to compensate for overfishing in 2012. The cuts will specifically affect hake fishing.
This announcement responds to the annual performance of deductions that allows Brussels to control the damage caused to the stocks that were overfished in the previous year and ensure the sustainable exploitation of resources.
Spain was the Member State that overfished species the most last year: a total of 17.
The European Commission (EC) also provided fishing quota cuts for the fleets of Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, France, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the UK and Romania.
The resources exploited by the Spanish fleet that are most seriously affected by the measure are hake, with a cut of 475.87 tonnes, and black scabbardfish, with 115.05 tonnes less, according to the official list of quota deductions for 2013.
In addition, there are deductions for greater forkbeard (56.44 tonnes), saithe (27.70 tonnes), tusk (28.55 tonnes), haddock (21.87 tonnes), Norway lobster (25.15 tonnes), deep-sea sharks (11.79 tonnes) and blue marlin (10.28 tonnes).
In the case of sole, the deduction will be by 3.38 tonnes.
On making the announcement, the Commissioner of Fisheries of the European Union (EU), Maria Damanaki, stated there is "a reduction in total ovefishing as compared to last year."
And she insisted that the goal of Brussels is "to ensure that this will form part of our continued focus on enforcing control provisions, which is crucial to stopping overfishing and achieving the long-term sustainability of our stocks."
The EC clarified that other quota deductions will apply in case of repeated overfishing, of more than 5 per cent or if the affected population is subject to a multiannual plan.
The environmental organization Oceana expressed support for these deductions to offset the damage caused to the stocks, but it again denounced the lack of control over fishing in the EU.
"This annual deduction of fishing opportunities due to the lack of control is an unfortunate tradition in fisheries management in the EU," stressed Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe.
"Member States should understand that there are rules to follow not only to be consistent with the law that they have passed but also for the sake of the resources and the fisheries sector," he added.
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By Analia Murias