Luis Planas: Spain will appeal to the EU Court of Justice against the European Commission's decision to ban fishing in 87 areas of the Atlantic

News - 2022.10.5

The minister assured that the decision is "highly detrimental" to Spanish fisheries, and that the government will lodge the appeal because it is defending the interests of the whole sector.

In parliamentary answers to questions from the Popular Party Parliamentary Group (PP) and the Galician Nationalist Block (BNG) on the government's position on the aforementioned EU regulation, Planas pointed out that, of course, the Government of Spain shares the objective of conservation and protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems, but it must be a "proportionate" measure, in accordance with the precepts of the Common Fisheries Policy, i.e. it must be balanced from an economic, social and environmental point of view.

In this respect, Planas stressed that this implementing act does not consider all the available up-to-date scientific information, nor has it been carried out with a socio-economic impact assessment.

In addition, it contains errors in the bathymetry, because the fishing ban is marked for depths of between 400 and 800 metres and there are some areas that do not reach this depth and others that are deeper. The minister reported that the government is in contact with the Commission to clarify the terms of application of a regulation that is very complex.

"Rest assured," added the minister, that "the Government of Spain will do everything in its power" to avoid the effects of this decision by the European Commission. Planas assured that all these actions are carried out by the central government in collaboration with the sector and the regional governments.

Supply Chain Law

In response to another parliamentary question from the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) on the application of the Supply Chain Law, which came into force last December, the minister assured that a "positive impact" has already been achieved because unlike other crisis situations when all the repercussions fell on the weakest link, farmers and livestock farmers, "on this occasion there is a more balanced distribution between all the links".

"The full effects of the law cannot be achieved in nine months, but we are making progress and it is yielding its first results". Among these advances, he cited the substantial increase in the salaries of dairy farmers in the last year, a sector that is the most vulnerable to the effects of the crisis due to the rise in production costs and which has therefore had priority in the support measures put in place with the Government of Spain, with a line of state aid of €169 million.

Planas explained that the ministry is working on the development of the law, so that in 2023 the electronic register of agri-food contracts will come into operation, and progress is being made with the sector's organisations and the regional governments in developing cost indices. He also highlighted the control and inspection work of the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA).

Non official translation