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Photo: CEPESCA/BDI

The Mediterranean fishing sector explodes at the EC's proposal to reduce fishing days and announces stoppages and mobilizations

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Friday, November 26, 2021, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

• Again requests the defense of the Spanish Government against the insensitivity, inability to dialogue and ignorance of the reality of fishing by European politicians who "do not even have scientific data on the results of the measures already adopted" "

• The EC proposal for the December Council of Ministers contemplates an additional 7.5% reduction in fishing days for the trawl fleet and the same percentage for the bottom longline fleet, as well as a TAC of 800 tons for the red prawn


Madrid - Mediterranean fishermen and shipowners strongly reject the proposal to reduce fishing days proposed by the European Commission (EC) as unfeasible. Faced with the discomfort that the European policy designed for this sea is creating and the feeling of "threat to our survival", the sector has announced various strikes and mobilizations to defend the 17,000 jobs that the trawling fleet generates on the Mediterranean coast. making the first coincide with the celebration of the Council of Ministers of Fisheries, the next 13 and 14 December.

Likewise, Mediterranean fishermen again request the defense of the Spanish Government in the face of “insensitivity, inability to dialogue and ignorance of the reality of fishing by European politicians who do not even have scientific data on the results of the measures already adopted. ”. Indeed, the results of the scientific evaluations of the measures already taken by fishermen in application of the European Union demersal (groundfish) management plan, in force since January 2020, are not yet available.

The EC proposal, facing the next Council of Fisheries Ministers, contemplates, among others, an additional reduction of 7.5% in fishing days for the trawl fleet and the same percentage for the longline fleet. The proposal also establishes a TAC of 800 tons for red shrimp, 13% less than the catches made in 2020, according to the European Commission.

According to José María Gallart, second vice president of Cepesca and president of the Andalusian Federation of Fisheries Associations (FAAPE),
“the European Commission's proposal goes beyond our worst omens and is the last straw for fishing activity in the Mediterranean, from the that depend, solely on trawling, about 600 fishing boats and more than 17,000 jobs, between direct and indirect jobs ".

"Instead of taking into account the efforts that have already been made, as we transmitted to the Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius, and the general director of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Charlina Vitcheva, in their visits to our country, and without knowing the scientific results of the measures implemented in the last two years"
,
adds Javier Garat, Secretary General of Cepesca "the EC once again demonstrates its remoteness and ignorance of the fishing activity, beyond an absolute lack of sensitivity not only with fishermen, but also with all the actors involved in an extensive value chain on which the socioeconomic well-being of many towns and cities depends ”.

It should be remembered that the Multi-Annual Fisheries Plan in the Western Mediterranean, adopted in 2019 and in force since January 2020 to regulate demersal fishing with the aim of achieving Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in 2025, has had a harsh impact on the Mediterranean fishing fleet. In 2021, trawlers have been forced to reduce their fishing effort by 8.3%, a measure that is in addition to those introduced in 2020, including temporary space closures and other reductions in fishing effort exceeding, in many cases, 20% . All this, in addition, in the difficult scenario created by the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused more than 13,800 days of fishing to be stopped.

Therefore, Cepesca asks the Spanish Government to defend, in the Council of Ministers in December, the rejection of any additional reduction in fishing effort, the creation of a TAC or the introduction of additional selectivity measures until the effectiveness is known. of the measures implemented.

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