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Boats at a fishing port in Galicia. (Photo: Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administration)

Northwestern Cantabrian management plan under analysis

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Friday, January 18, 2013, 22:00 (GMT + 9)

Fishing industry representatives and authorities of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country met with Secretary General of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Carlos Dominguez, to analyze the new fisheries management plan for Northwestern Cantabrian fishing grounds.

During the meeting, they agreed on the need to revise the quota allocation percentages established during previous parliamentary terms under different ministerial orders. Among them are those related to the criteria for the distribution and management of the mackerel quota, and the percentage share of blue whiting, megrim and Norway lobster catching.

The Government will "sharpen" its proposals to change the allocation of fishing in the area, said the official.

So far, the initiatives evaluated are "not final" but a basis for the final distribution to be "more equitable", EFE reports.

Magrama is "acting in a transparent manner" and "putting on the table" available information on historical catches, crew and species dependence, Dominguez added.

"We’ll try to slightly sharpen the data to achieve the goal we want, that all fleets can make the best use of quotas, fishing until 31 December and if not, the maximum number of days per year in order to survive, and for the economic activity to be profitable, " he went on to say.

The authority gave the industry "a few days" to send claims, so as by the end of January the work is completed and a new "management scheme that saves past problems" comes into effect.

The Secretariat proposed to Northwestern Cantabrian trawlers a transferable fishing quota system.

In this regard, Dominguez said this part of the fleet "positively" welcomed the proposal, which would allow companies to use those assets to negotiate or even to "concentrate on a single ship" the quota for several boats.

In addition, the Executive proposed that different boats made a joint management by associated entities or provincial federations to decide how to use the quotas.

Moreover, Dominguez discussed with the director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, Juliette Williams, the issue of combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, both as flag and port State.

Both sides discussed the implementation of the current Regulation of the European Union (EU) for the fight against IUU fishing and established a schedule of joint actions to develop during 2013. The main objectives are to provide maximum transparency in the fishing activities of third country fleets in international waters and coastal countries, prevent corruption and ensure the protection of fishery resources, especially in the West African region.

Related article:

- Quota allocation for the Cantabrian fleet

By Analia Murias


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