Spain's main fishing region Galicia admits the need to eliminate fishery discards but emphasized it must be a gradual process since it is necessary to preserve the social, economic and environmental objectives of this activity which is of central importance for the economy and jobs.
Head of the Under Secretariat of Rural and Marine Affairs from the Xunta of Galicia, Rosa Quintana stressed the need for gradual approach, accompanied by important measures to preserve the social, economic and environmental objectives of the activity without causing its collapse.
The minister highlighted the discard elimination policy is well-intended but she also stressed the difficulty of its implementation in the daily fishing activity.
Discrepancies arise when the practical implementation of this policy: it presents gaps, contradictions, lack of adequate mechanisms to control and sometimes, poor documentation supporting the actual situation on the species returned into the sea, Quintana pointed out.
She emphasized that when addressing these measures, it is important to avoid having rules that are unfocused, difficult to interpret, monitor and enforce.
The official insisted it is necessary to establish a regulatory framework to better implement the new EU fisheries policy from a model that is compatible with the fishing experience of Galicia.
Quintana suggests that discard plans must be set for each fishery with new interim rules and only when the remaining regulations have been adapted to the new concept, it could enter into force on discards landing.
Furthermore, she claims the importance of considering the small scale and inshore fishing sector, which consists of 3,800 vessels and 5,440 crew members and whose discharges represent 22% of total landings in Galicia.
Quintana ensured the inshore fleet is very important for coastal populations, and this is directly affected by the duty of landings despite its limited effort and small discard impact.
Therefore, the Government of Galicia has asked the European Parliament (EP) for a differentiated regime that should be selected for managing the ban on discards in these fleets, she concluded. (FIS).-