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Sinkevicius with the spanish delegation

Cepesca asks Commissioner Sinkevicius to transform good words into more support and practical measures

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Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca) has thanked to the Commissioner for Fisheries, Oceans and the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius, the visit that he started today in Galicia (Vigo) and which will also take him to Murcia and Alicante (Santa Pola) to learn first-hand about the reality of Spanish fishing. Cepesca has been calling for a long time to bring the European institutions, especially the European Commission, closer to the fishing sector in order to adapt the EU's fishing policy to the real needs of fishing Spanish and European.

During the meeting that the commissioner has held in Vigo with authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) with Minister Luis Planas at the head, as well as the Xunta, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the European Parliament and different organizations of the fishing sector, the Secretary General of Cepesca, Javier Garat, has recognized the The intense work carried out by the Sinkevicius team to face the consequences caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the fishing sector, as well as the work carried out during the Brexit negotiations and, more recently, with the crisis with Norway.
Nevertheless, He has asked you to dedicate more time and attention to a key sector for the healthy eating of the population, such as fishing.

Garat also reminded Sinkevicius of the frustration of the sector in the face of mistrust generated by certain European Commission policies and the lack of recognition of the remarkable effort made in the last decade and that, as Garat has underlined, “has meant loss of ships , jobs and wealth in our fishing regions, as well as a reduction in mortality and fishing effort, although this has allowed most of the fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic to be in Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) " .

Likewise, Garat has informed him of the mistrust caused by policies such as the European Green Pact, the Biodiversity Strategy or the recent proposal for a Directive that aims to tax fishing diesel, warning about the negative impact and enormous cost that it will entail for the fishing activity since, as Garat explained, “it will cause the loss of competitiveness of our companies compared to those of other countries such as, for example, China , which will continue to operate under much looser legislation than the European one, even outside the law, and selling many of their products free of tariffs to the EU ”.

The Secretary General of Cepesca has not ignored the proposal for a Regulation for the control of fishing, currently in process, and which includes certain measures that involve the treatment of fishermen as alleged criminals. Similarly, he has insisted on the sustainability of a fishing gear such as trawling, which has been unjustly demonized and has become the target of persecution by EC policies.

More support and measures in favor of European fisheries

For all this, Garat has asked Sinkevicius to transform his good words into policies of support to the sector, in measures in favor of fishing and public statements that value the work and the good work of the Spanish and European fishing sector.

In this sense, the Secretary General of Cepesca has explicitly referred to the Summit of United Nations on Food Systems 2021, which will be celebrated on the 23rd of September, as an opportunity to recognize fishery products as healthy food with a lower carbon footprint impact, therefore worthy of some
policies that, instead of allowing for unfair competition, serve to promote sovereignty food of the European Union.

Garat has also emphasized another capital issue such as ocean governance international and EU fisheries agreements with third countries. In the first area, the Secretary General of Cepesca has asked the Commissioner for greater impulse and support to the Regional Fisheries Organizations (ORP) as well as greater coherence and coordination between the fisheries policy and the commercial, health and cooperation policies for the development of the EU. Regarding the fishing agreements, Garat has drawn attention to the agreement with Mauritania which, after its renewal last July, requires urgent processing so that its provisional application can enter into force, in such a way that vessels do not have to leave the fishing ground as of next November 15, the date on which the previous protocol expires.

Finally, Garat has reiterated the importance of having all the same rules of the game (level playing field) and has once again reminded the commissioner that European fishing vessels comply with legislation whose level of demand is well above that of other countries, whose fleets do not encounter, however, obstacles to marketing their products in Europe, even duty-free.

Cepesca will also participate in the meetings to be held today in Alicante and Santa Pola to address the situation in the Mediterranean. Javier Garat will remind the commissioner of all the efforts already carried out by Spanish fishermen to reverse the situation of the stocks and which have included a 29% reduction in fishing days in just two years, temporary stoppages of fishing two-month trawling fleet, temporary space closures to protect juveniles and collaboration with scientists to see if it is possible to improve the selectivity of the gear without ruining fishermen.

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