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Andalusian longline fleet. (Photo: Junta de Andalucía)

Andalusian longline fleet to receive more than EUR 600,000 due to temporary paralysis

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018, 22:50 (GMT + 9)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of the Andalusia Board opened on Tuesday the deadline to request aid for the temporary stoppage of the Andalusian surface longline fleet that operates in the Mediterranean national fishing grounds.

The total budget foreseen for these subsidies exceeds EUR 600,000 co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), an amount that will be shared between shipowners (EUR 190,000) and crew members (EUR 415,000).

The period to process the request for compensation is 15 days, and begins to govern the day after the start of the temporary closure, established in this case from January 1 to March 31, as agreed in the Fisheries Sectoral Conference of last July, in order to contribute to the recovery of swordfish in these waters.

These grants, foreseen in the EMFF Operational Program 2014-2020, are granted in 2018, exceptionally, for a maximum duration of 30 days and a minimum period of five uninterrupted days.

In general, subsidies are not granted for more than 15 days for all temporary stops of the fleet. However, as highlighted by the Minister Rodrigo Sánchez Haro, the Andalusia Board proposed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment to double this maximum term for this year in order to compensate that in 2017 this fleet was not eligible for this same purpose.

According to Sánchez Haro, this aid is "of vital importance" because "it contributes to alleviating the inactivity of the surface longline fleet, which is affected by the current swordfish recovery plan and the bluefin tuna recovery plan."

Temporary stops have as main objective the promotion of sustainable fishing from the environmental point of view and an efficient use of resources, characteristics that, as stressed by the counselor, "are fundamental to combine this activity with the maximum respect to the natural environment" .

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