The European Commission (EC) has decided to sanction Spain and nine other Member States for exceeding their fishing quotas during the past financial year, and reduce their fishing opportunities for 2014. This measure is intended to repair the damage caused to resources and in this way ensure the sustainable capture of resources.
The EC highlighted that compared to last year, quota deductions were reduced by 22%. Sanctioned member States are: Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the UK.
In the case of Spain, the fleet will be punished with a reduction of 555 tons for exceeding the fishing quotas for various species in 2013.
Specifically, Brussels will implement the following reductions from Spain:
• 3 tons of alfonsino quotas;
• 63 tons of blue ling;
• 43 tons of black sable;
• 27 tons of blue marlin;
• 5 tons of white marlin;
• 41 tons of cod;
• 103 tons of Greenland halibut;
• 30 tons of haddock;
• 21 tons of red fish.
Other species reduced from the Spanish fleet are:
• 25 tons of Norwegian lobster;
• 89 tons of tusk;
• 15 tons of other Norwegian species;
• 31 tons of pollock;
• 3 tons of porbeagle;
• 3 tons of sole;
• 2 tons of dogfish;
• 8 tons of deep-sea shark;
• 43 tons of forkbeard.
If we want to be serious in our fight against overfishing, we need to apply our rules by the book – and this includes the respect of quotas, stressed the European Union (EU) Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki.
The European Commissioner stated that in 2013 a better job was carried out than in previous years with regard to the respect of the allocated quotas, there is an effort to keep within contingent limits.
That said, to achieve healthy fish stocks across Europe we also need efficient controls to enforce the rules in place, Damanaki stressed.
The EC clarified that any quota deduction is implemented to the same species whose quota is exceeded the previous year and a reduction of the additional quota is implemented due to consecutive overfishing, that is to say, greater than 5% or if the stock is subject to a multi-year recovery plan.
If a nation does not have sufficient quota to compensate for overfishing the previous year, quotas will be deducted from alternative species in the same fishing area, which is negotiated with the Member State concerned.
The EU executive said that Spain was the country that exceeded quotas in the greatest number of species, 22 in total. It was followed by Portugal and France, which overfished 10 resources.(FIS).