Fish market in Vigo. (Photo: YouTube/BertolliPassions)
Galician fishing sector fears impact of Irish crisis
Thursday, November 25, 2010, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
Seafood traders in Vigo fear that measures adopted to revive the Irish economy will affect prices of their products.
The crisis in Ireland forced the intervention of the European Union (EU) and the adjustment measures including tax increases, including VAT (raised to 24 per cent until 2014).
The situation worries the Galician fishing sector because that country imports large volumes of fish and shellfish. Whilst the port of Vigo receives only fresh produce, some 10,000 tonnes annually, reports Faro de Vigo.
According to the newspaper from Vigo, both the Galician fleet operating in Irish waters - around one hundred ships - and importers of fishery products from Ireland, believe that the adjustments implemented to rescue the Irish economy will be felt very soon in prices.
Marisol Landriz, managing director of the Fish Traders Association of the Port of Vigo (Acopevi), said that they still do not know "at what rate, adjustments will affect prices, but it is clear that it is so and also it will join the rise of these products in the traditional of Christmas."
Acopevi has among its members, seven companies that for years have had trade relations with Ireland, where they aquire shellfish for hatcheries and farms, which in recent years have increased its imports.
The head of Acopevi recognizes that there is concern both in the Galician sector and in Irish businesses. "In general, they are small companies, many cooperatives, and tax increases will cause uncertainty," he said.
In the fishing sector, the Irish crisis also causes insecurity, as the Irish fishing grounds are visited by more than half of the 140 Spanish trawlers licensed to fish in Gran Sol.
This fleet uses ports at Castletown or Dingle for landings and also to refuel, re-stock or make small repairs.
In this sense, Jesus Etchevers, president of the Provincial Association of Fishing Shipowners of Coruña (Arpesco), expressed fears that tax increases will consequently change rates for these services.
By Silvina Corniola