New Argos Cies fishing trawler. (Photo: Faro de Vigo)
Government and fishing industry looks for Galicia’s support during Brexit
Friday, October 12, 2018, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
The Falkland Islands government is seeking support from Spain, particularly from Galicia, to reinforce the archipelago case during Brexit negotiations.
To this end, a delegation of the Government attended the Conxemar Seafood Exhibition, held in Vigo last week together with Falklands Fishing Company Association (FIFCA) members, Mercopress informed.
Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the Falkland Islands Roger Edwards and Director of Policy and Economic Development, Diane Simsovic addressed a meeting at the offices of the Vigo Ship Owners Association (ARVI). Also addressing the meeting was the Regional Galician Fisheries Minister Rosa Quintana.
The purpose of this meeting was to highlight the mutually beneficial relationship between the fishing industry in the Falkland Islands and the Galician economy; the potential impact of Brexit, and to secure local support for continued tariff and quota free trade between the Falklands and the EU.
In addition, FIFCA members and Simsovic, supported by the President of ARVI, had the opportunity to discuss their common interest in maintaining tariff and quota free trade at a very productive meeting with Vigo Mayor Abel Caballeros with the Vigo Port Authority.
Official statistics reveal that in 2017, 288,373 tonnes of fish were imported into Spain through Vigo, of which 16 per cent, with a customs value of EUR 139 million, came from the Falkland Islands.
In the same year, 34 per cent of all the calamari imported by Spain came from the Falkland Islands. Whilst the squid is caught in the Falklands, the majority of processing, added value, distribution, and marketing occurred in Spain.
The majority of Falkland Islands fishing companies operate joint venture businesses with Spanish fishing companies based in Galicia. As a result, a growing number of new fishing vessels, which cost on average EUR 20 million each, are built in Galician shipyards.
Only last month the Falkland Islands Government registered a new build fishing trawler called the Argos Cies, which reflects the 50:50 partnership in the Jupiter Fishing Company between Argos Group Ltd of Stanley, Falkland Islands, and Armadora Pereira SA of Vigo, Spain. This new vessel cost EUR 21 million and was built at the Nodosa shipyard in Marin, Galicia.
Critically, at least 6,000 jobs (2,000 on vessels and 4,000 on shore) are reliant on the current relationship between the Galician region of Spain and the Falkland Islands.
“It was clear from the meeting, that the Galician politicians and the local fishing industry understand the importance of their relationship with the Falkland Islands,” said FIFCA.
“They are doing all they can to raise the potential negative impact Brexit could have and to encourage the Spanish Government to do what they can to support continued tariff and quota free trade between the Falkland Islands and the EU,” FIFCA representatives concluded.