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Albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga. (Photo: Geomar)

Albacore fishery reopened

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 22:40 (GMT + 9)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has authorized the reopening of the fishery for albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) in the Atlantic Ocean from 00:00 on October 11 thanks to an exchange of quotas with Portugal.

The closure of this fishery for flagged vessels had been established on August 23 due to the exhaustion of the Spanish quota, but after the agreement with Portugal "sufficient quota is once again available for the performance of this fishery", details the resolution signed by Fisheries and Aquaculture Management General Director Juan Ignacio Gandarias.

Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water Undersecretariat of the Government of the Canary Islands, Narvay Quintero, explained that the claims of the Canarian Executive and the fishing sector of the Islands since last August, in different meetings and communications, urging the Government of Spain to establish agreements with other countries to achieve an increase in the national quota, has finally come to an end in this opening that will enable the capture of this tuna on its return to the south.

In 2017 catches of albacore tuna on the Canary Islands totalled 2,397 tonnes, 16 per cent of the national quota; in 2016 they were 4,958 tonnes (33.2 per cent) and in 2015, 2,708 tonnes (15.3 per cent). This year, barely 600 tonnes had been reached before the closure of the fishery due to the fact that in its migratory cycle the albacore tuna had so far mostly gone to other latitudes, whose fleets have benefitted from their catches.

The Canarian Fisheries Undersecretariat said they want to address this issue with the State for future seasons "in order to articulate an instrument to avoid these imbalances", which have serious consequences for fishermen on the Canary Islands.

"What we demand is that a specific quota be established for the Canary fishing ground," he said.

Related article:

Northern albacore fishery extended until August 23

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