Spain: leadership in the fight against illegal fishing, accredited by ISO 9001/2015 certification

New Holland 2019

The secretary general of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA), Javier Garat, stressed that Spain has become one of the leading countries in the fight against illegal fishing, both in our own waters and outside EU waters, as it has been certified by the ISO 9001/2015. Garat made these remarks during his speech at the meeting of the Marine Programme Unit International Sustainability (ISU) of HRH the Prince of Wales, held in London on June 16th and in which he exposed the progress of the Spanish fishing sector in this subject.

Secretary General of CEPESCA, which is fisheries adviser of that Unit since 2011, reported also on the progress of Spain in the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems and reducing incidental catch of seabirds, in collaboration with SEO/BirdLife.

Under the title “The Global Transition to Sustainable Fisheries”, this meeting brought together stakeholders in the fisheries sector, aquaculture, distribution, NGOs, scientists and universities around the world and representatives of FAO and the World Bank. The aim was to assess the progress achieved in the global transition to sustainable fisheries, since the launch of the marine program ISU in 2011 and analyze the remaining challenges.

Garat has exposed two clear examples of optimal fisheries management by the Spanish fleet, the northern hake and bluefin tuna, which has achieved a significant reduction in mortality and fishing effort and biomass growth of both species. Specifically, in the case of hake these objectives have been achieved in the fishing sub-areas IV, VI and VII and Divisions III and VIII abd (North stocks); and in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean, bluefin tuna.


Similarly, it has also been released the work done by the Spanish tuna fleet, which has allowed it to have today one of the highest standards in the world for fishing responsibly, as well as social, health and safety of their workers.

In that vein, he referred to research conducted by this fleet for the development of FAD (aggregating devices fish, DCP in Spanish) not enmallantes and biodegradable, to minimize bycatch of turtles or sharks and reduce the impact on the ecosystem; the use of acoustic techniques, both on board and by adhering to buoys to reduce the catch of juvenile devices; integration crews observers and the use of electronic devices; promoting transparency of fisheries agreements by working with coastal countries (COMHAFAT in the Atlantic Ocean and SMARTFISH in the Indian Ocean); and the signing of a protocol with the Spanish government to control foreign flag vessels.

According to the Secretary General of CEPESCA, “Unit International Sustainability (ISU) has become, through the Marine Program, in a very active institution in promoting the sustainable management of fisheries and marine environment protection, recognizing the many success stories that exist in the world. ” In his opinion, “fundamental part of measures to ensure responsible use of fisheries resources solutions is promoting good practices to ensure that such an important actvity for human consumption, the European economy and social welfare as fishing is developed with the utmost respect for the environment. ”


CEPESCA is the business organization most representative national of the European Union and brings together 38 associations of owners of vessels fishing both inshore and height, with 800 fishing companies, 882 ships, nearly 10,000 crew members and a tonnage of tonnage 225,227 GTs. Among its objectives, the Confederation aims to improve the competitiveness of fishing enterprises, promote training of crews and generational change, promote the development of responsible and sustainable fisheries and combating illegal fishing.


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