Galician Minister of Fisheries, Rosa Quintana, hopes EC will be able to reform the fisheries protocol signed with Mauritania. (Photo: Magrama / FIS)
Spain pushes for the return of cephalopod fleet to Mauritania
Thursday, February 21, 2013, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
While the authorities of the European Union (EU) and Mauritania are meeting in Paris, France, to discuss the bilateral fisheries agreement, the Spanish Government and the Xunta de Galicia hope the cephalopod fleet can resume its fishing activities in African waters.
The head of the Galician Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Sea, Rosa Quintana, said the Spanish authorities continue to work for the European Commission (EC) to reform the fisheries protocol, so that cephalopod vessels can return to fish in Moroccan waters.
The minister said that with the pressure of both Administrations it had been possible to introduce into the debate a particular topic: the need of a scientific committee meeting, the regional government reported in a press release.
Spain also wants negotiators to accept the scientific reports produced by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) in relation to the improvement of the situation of cephalopods.
The authorities and the national fisheries sector expect to reverse the veto imposed to the cephalopod fleet, which since July last year cannot fish in Mauritanian waters.
From 26 July 2012, when the European Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, closed negotiations with the Mauritanian government, the pact forced 24 Galician cephalopod vessels, most of O Morrazo, to leave their fishing activity in the African ground, newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.
According to IEO experts, the octopus situation is much better than that estimated by the EC.
That is why "We doubt very much that the European Parliament (EP) will go ahead with this agreement if there is no room for the fishing opportunities this ground has," Quintana continued.
"We hope that with this information, which reflects the health of the resource, the EC may be able to reform the protocol," he added.
The National Association of Cephalopod Producers (Anacef), Jose Ramon Fontan, praised Spanish actions to assert their scientific reports on the octopus status, newspaper La Opinion informed.
- Mauritania and EU to analyze fishing agreement
By Analia Murias