Following the latest EU Fisheries Council, Spanish Minister Isabel García Tejerina has succeeded in improving the Commission‘s initial proposal on fishing opportunities for deep-sea species by 351 tonnes, which could amount to more than 2.5 million euros in first sale for Spanish fishermen.
Among the issues raised by Spain at the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 14th November, the request for lower reductions in TACs for deep-sea species, as opposed to the Commission’s highly restrictive initial proposals, stands out. In particular, it was demanded an improvement in the fishing possibilities for the bream, both of the Bay of Biscay and of the Gulf of Cadiz, the brótolas and the black saber of the Cantabrian, presenting for this documents with the corresponding socioeconomic justifications.
Thus, in particular, for Community waters and Cantabrian sea bream, a reduction of 10% per year has been agreed, instead of the Commission’s annual reduction of 20%, which has meant an improvement of 35 tonnes with respect to the proposal.
The Gulf of Cadiz sea bream is reduced by 5% per year, instead of the 14% per year proposed by the Commission. In this case, the improvement has been 32 tons.
For brótola, in all areas, Community waters, the Cantabrian Sea and the Gulf of Cadiz, the reduction has been limited to 11%, instead of the 205% proposed by the Commission, which represents an additional 241 tonnes for this species.
For the Black Saber the adjustment has been reduced to 10% per year in all areas, 43 tonnes more than the Commission proposal.
In the case of grenadiers and alfonsinos, in all areas, and in application of the precautionary approach, the Commission proposal has been accepted.
Species of “strangulation”
García Tejerina, together with other European ministers, has expressed concern about the problems that will arise with bottlenecks because flexibilities (de minimis exception, high survival, interspecies and interannual flexibilities) are not sufficient to achieve a non-traumatic application of the landing obligation to European fleets, especially in mixed fisheries.
In this regard, the Commission has been requested to take appropriate measures to ensure that this problem is satisfactorily resolved before 2019, when the landing obligation will be fully applicable for all fleets and all fisheries.