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Galicia warns that the future of the fishing fleet is at risk due to the drift of Brussels towards excessively environmental policies

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

The Minister of the Sea, Rosa Quintana, appeared today in the Galician Parliament to evaluate the communications on fishing made by the European Commission on February 21 and warned that Brussels' plans for this activity put the future of the fishing fleet by having an excessive environmental vision with arbitrary measures and without scientific guarantees.

Photo: Parlamento de Galicia

The owner of Mar, who intervened at her own request in the Chamber, stressed that the documents prepared by the Community Executive include a host of nonsense and measures that are intended to be adopted in different areas despite the lack of studies on the real situation of the that is part of or a serious evaluation of the objectives that are intended to be achieved. It is about her, she added, a series of principles with which, supposedly, it seeks to promote fishing activity and the work of fishermen but which, paradoxically, are the main victims of these measures.

Faced with this situation, the representative of the Galician Executive stressed that Galicia is going to put pressure and maintain contacts with multiple instances while supporting the central government in the search for allies among the rest of the countries of the European Union to create a pressure group strong and stop the meaningless proposals put forward by Brussels.

Rosa Quintana regretted that these four communications made by the European Commission on February 21 - an evaluation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), another of the common organization of markets for fishing and aquaculture products, the action to protect marine ecosystems for sustainable fisheries and the strategy for the energy transition of the EU fisheries sector - show that certain departments of the European Commission, such as the Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, are out of touch with reality.

This fact, explained the owner of Mar, was verified in the last Galician Fisheries Council, in which a legal note commissioned to the MarInnLeg Foundation was analyzed, which certifies that the communications of the Community Executive have numerous defects and are mainly based on the aspect environment, almost completely forgetting the social and economic spheres.

The representative of the Xunta recalled that one of the great bets of the commissioner Virjinijus Sinkevicius is the action plan to protect and restore marine ecosystems, a measure with a marked environmental aspect and that it is intended to adopt despite the lack of information on the impact of fishing activity on habitats and species, along the lines of what has already been done with the 87 bans on bottom fishing in community waters.

Galician offshore fleet moored in port. Photo: courtesy Marcos Canosa/La Opinión de La Coruña

In this sense, she assured that the intention to prohibit trawling in marine protected areas before 2030 and in 20% of the waters of each member state by 2024 cannot be considered a gradual plan. In fact, its impact can be deadly for many companies that have made significant investments in recent years and that from one day to the next find themselves deprived of a fundamental part of their fishing grounds.

The strategy for the energy transition of the sector, added the minister, has very similar defects since it tries to reach the ship of the future without defining how, without indicating what alternative energy sources could be and without offering additional financing to accelerate research. This way of acting, lamented Rosa Quintana, is not serious and is becoming commonplace within the European Commission.     

Source: Xunta de Galicia 

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