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Pilchard management plan 'is an emergency measure'

Sardine catch. (Photo: Juan Murias/Copyright: FIS)

Click on the flag for more information about SpainSPAIN
Friday, February 13, 2015, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The head of the Ministry of Rural and Marine Affairs of Xunta de Galicia, Rosa Quintana said that the pilchard management plan is an emergency measure, which prevents the European Union (EU) from applying a total allowable catch (TAC) for the species.
In addition, this measure keeps Portugal from self-assigning 70 per cent of the quota or fishing opportunities, which could leave the Galician fleet "in a position of clear disadvantage," she explained.
"Positively evaluating this measure in reference to these nuances doesn’t mean we are giving up the negotiation of the management plan developed by the Galician Fisheries Council," Quintana made it clear to the members of the Galician Parliament.
She noted that the plan does not include some of the proposals that the Galician Fisheries Council and the Xunta defend, because of "the urgency and the limited room for manoeuvre" the Portuguese action left them.
Meanwhile, the Galician government is still working and taking as a reference document the proposed multi-annual management plan for pilchard prepared and approved by the Galician Fisheries Council.
"We continue to work in collaboration and contact with the Ministry and the regions of Andalusia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, as well as the sectors concerned and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO)," said the head of the Ministry.
Among the progress made, she noted the changes in the catch limit, closing dates, and downloading limits.
Furthermore, she stressed that the xeito fleet is authorized to fish 200 tonnes of pilchard, a higher volume than the annual average catch of this sector in the last 10 years, 179 tonnes.
Quintana also emphasized measures addressed to maintain the viability of the purse seine fleet and other gears, since the Galician Government considers that regulating and managing fisheries is the best way to maximize economic and social performance without altering the environmental sustainability.
With respect to horse mackerel, mackerel and anchovy quotas in the VIIIc (north and northwest of Spain) and IXa (Portugal coast) areas, she recalled that they have increased by 52 per cent, from nearly 65,000 tonnes in 2009 to 99,000 tonnes in 2015.
Finally, Quintana highlighted that the measures implemented by the previous government "only bring less value and penalties" for mackerel, as in 2009 and 2010, exceeding the annual quota Spain has for horse mackerel, mackerel and anchovy this year.

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