The head of the Ministry of Food and Environment (Magrama), Miguel Arias Cañete, highlighted the ”excellent results achieved by Spain in negotiating total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas for 2014.”
The Fisheries Ministers of the European Union (EU) achieved after two days of negotiations, an agreement on the allocation of fishing quotas for the EU fleet over the next year.
The minister stressed the grand bargain that Spain has made for significant increases in fishing quotas achieved in almost all resources of interest for its fishermen, compared to those achieved in 2013.
Some of the species for which quotas have been increased are: Hake: 49%; Mackerel: 28%; Blue whiting: 71%; Megrim from national fishing grounds: 86% and Gran Sol and Bay of Biscay anglerfish: 15%.
In connection with the new quota for hake, Arias Cañete stressed that Spain has achieved a historic increase. This increment in the waters of Gran Sol and Bay of Biscay will mean 7,500 more tons than last year and 22 million Euros more.
Meanwhile, the quota for the southern Cantabrian Sea and Bay of Biscay hake stock was raised by 15%, that is to say, 1,350 more tons than in 2012.
Regarding mackerel, the minister said that Spain managed to increase its quota by 28%, to 29,019 tons, 6,300 more tons than last year. However, he pointed out that this quota is provisional, as it will be increased in 2014, when the agreement with Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands is closed.
On the other hand, Arias Cañete described as spectacular the increase of chances to fish for blue whiting. The EU ministers decided to increase the Spanish share to 71%, which now stands at 40,000 tons, 16,500 more tons than in 2013.
This quota is provisional and may increase in 2014, depending on the closing of the negotiations with Norway.
Regarding the Gran Sol and Bay of Biscay anglerfish, a rise of 15 per cent was achieved despite the fact that the Commission intended to maintain the 2013’s quota for Spain.
Meanwhile, the quota of megrim from the national fishing grounds rose 86%, or 963 tons, representing a total of 2,084 tons.
The quota of anglerfish from the national fishing grounds increased by 6%, i.e., 128 tons, placing the quota for the Spanish fleet at 2,191 tons.
On the other hand, Spain maintained the same rates as in 2013 for Cantabrian pollack and Gran Sol and Bay of Biscay anglerfish, like that of anchovy from the Bay of Cadiz.
Meanwhile, although the Commission proposed a 40% reduction in the horse mackerel from the Cantabrian Sea, the minister stressed that the decrement obtained was only 26%.
For IX Area mackerel (low estuaries and Gulf of Cadiz), the quota was increased by 17%, which means more than 1,300 tons in 2013 and a final quota of 9,055 tons for Spain.
Arias Cañete also mentioned that the quota of Norwegian lobster in the VII Area was down 9%, even though the Commission proposed a reduction of 24%.
In the Porcupine Bank, where the Spanish fleet works, Norwegian lobster quota rose 3%, to 557 tons, and in the Bay of Biscay, Spain finally managed to keep the 2013’s quota of 234 tons.
The fisheries sector, through the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA), expressed its satisfaction with the result obtained in the Council of Fisheries Ministers.
For Cepesca secretary general, Javier Garat, “the increase obtained in the quotas of species of special relevance to the Spanish fleet is the result of the effort and sacrifice performed by the fleet in recent years and the comprehensive management policy and control applied in Spain.” (FIS)