Fishing vessels at a port in Asturias. (Photo: Youtube/AsturiasVerde)
Autonomous regions reject individual quota system
Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
The regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country have rejected the possibility that the distribution of the total allowable catch (TAC) in 2011 is made through a system of individual fishing quotas. This was expressed by their representatives in discussions on the management of hake which started last week with officials from the Directorate General of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM).
According to the Director General of Fisheries of Asturias, Marcelino Menéndez, accepting the use of the system "would move the right to exploit to a property right, which would be in favor of shipowners."
He explained that the fleet dedicated to the capture of hake "is not homogeneous, so the use of this method could be particularly prejudicial to the boats and their crew of fewer resources.
He clarified that they will seek a more appropriate and "fairer" system, that takes into account, for example, fishing methods that are more "selective" which results in fewer discards, reports the EFE news agency.
Meanwhile, sources within the Department of Environment, Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Basque Government expressed its opposition to individual quotas because they believe that fragmentation would be "tiny" because the quotas are small and the fleet consists of many ships.
The representatives of the Directorate General for Fisheries and Food of Cantabria recalled that the Cantabrian fishing sector also rejected the initiative, but raises the possibility of distributing the shares by type and geographical area.
The Ministry of Marine Affairs of the Xunta de Galicia, for their part, advocates a sharing of the quota - west Cantabrian fishing grounds on one side, and the Gulf of Cadiz on the other, - as well as through fishing patterns.
The MARM, meanwhile, says it is working on a project that includes improvements in the management of the hake fishery, with regards to previous regulations.
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By Analia Murias