Mackerel landing. (Photo: Juan Murias/FIS)
Mackerel fishery reopened in the northwest Cantabrian
Monday, April 08, 2013, 04:30 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), through the General Secretariat of Fisheries, will reopen the mackerel (Scomber scombrus) fishery for trawlers in the northwest Bay of Biscay.
The fishery was closed as precaution on 29 March, after the fishing season that had started on 25 February.
The government took this decision after analyzing and comparing the consumption data across various sources, such as sales notes and landing statements for the various units involved in the fishery.
The Magrama clarified that ships or pair trawlers that had exceeded their allocated quota individually may no longer continue fishing.
Meanwhile, the boats that still have quotas that are inferior to the daily limit of 7.5 tonnes, will be allowed the landing of the mackerel caught incidentally up to the quota exhaustion, or until 15 April, whichever comes first.
For the rest of the boats, the mackerel fishery reopens under the same conditions as those being effective on 25 February: from 8 to 15 April. From that date, the consumption level of the quota will be reviewed and the possibility of opening a new fishing season will be assessed.
The Ministry explained that this precautionary management method seeks to avoid exceeding the quota of any stock and the recurrence of situations like the one in 2009 due to overfishing of mackerel.
In mid-March, Magrama head, Miguel Arias Cañete, said that the fine for fishing mackerel in 2009 that the European Commission decided to impose now on the country was a consequence "of the incompetent and negligent management of the previous socialist governments."
In the House of Representatives, the minister informed that "significant reductions and flexibility for the payment of the fine had been achieved."
"We succeeded in making the Commission impose a nominal throughout the first years, requested the maximum extension of the deadline for returning the captured excessive amounts, agreeing to a payment of the fine in 11 years," Arias Cañete explained.
- Spain achieves flexibility to pay fine for overfishing mackerel
- Government and trawlers agree quotas in the Cantabrian
By Analia Murias