At the opening of Conxemar, in Vigo

Minister Planas announces that the Spanish trawler fleet will be able to fish in 41 of the 87 areas banned by the European Commission

News - 2022.10.6

Planas underlined that this decision is the outcome of the joint work of the Government of Spain and the fishing sector, which had detected inconsistencies in the bathymetry (depth) and mapping of the initially prohibited areas.

For the minister "this is good news", although Spain will go ahead with the appeal against this regulation before the European Court of Justice, as it understands that the Commission has not considered the most recent scientific information and has made a partial reading of the recommendations, extending the ban to types of activity that were not included in the scientific reports, such as bottom longlining. The Commission has also failed to assess the precepts of the Common Fisheries Policy in relation to the pursuit of economic, social and environmental balance.

The minister applauded the joint effort of the government, the associations representing the sector and the autonomous communities affected to promote a strategy based on two pillars: firmness in demanding the annulment of the regulation and, at the same time, the maintenance of dialogue and negotiation with the European Commission for the "immediate revision" of the regulation's content. "The government understands that we must all protect the seas and oceans, but we must do it in a way that allows fishing to continue, in a respectful and selective way," he added.

Luis Planas today visited Conxemar, the International Frozen Seafood Products Fair, a benchmark event for the fishing sector since Spain is the leading fishing power in Europe, "a leadership that must be exercised and the 8,700 Spanish fishing vessels, half of them based in Galicia, are a good example of the great work done by the whole sector to conquer a future that is already here".

The extractive fishing and processing industry is absolutely essential for Spain's large parts and has the full support of the Government of Spain. For this reason, "we will work hand in hand with the whole sector to achieve the best possible result at the next European Councils of Ministers", especially at the December Council, where the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and fishing quotas for 2023 will be decided.

Furthermore, the minister pointed out that at the beginning of July 2023, the Spanish Presidency of the European Union will organise an informal Fisheries Council in Vigo, councils that do not tend to be held frequently "but which Spain has wanted to revive given our country's leadership in fisheries".

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