Spanish fisheries organisation Cepesca has criticised Commissioner Sinkevicius as inflexible follow cuts to TACs for important fish stocks
The fishing sector has labelled as inflexible the attitude of the European Commissioner for Fisheries, Oceans and Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius, in the negotiation of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and fishing quotas established for 2022 that ended this morning in Brussels.
According to the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (Cepesca), the result of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries “plunges the companies in the sector into a profitability crisis, with the consequent destruction of employment.”
Cepesca understands that the European Commission has shown a lack of sensitivity with fishermen in a situation complicated by the health crisis and the rise in operating and logistics costs.
According to Javier Garat, Secretary General of Cepesca, “The result is, without palliative, a hard blow for Spanish fishing. It is paradoxical that the European Commission defends the essential nature of our activity, but when making political decisions that affect our day-to-day lives, it shows that the institution is far removed from the reality of the sector and does not recognise the strategic role that it has in the European Union. The environmental doctrine currently directed by this Commission… and to which from the fishing sector we proactively contribute with numerous projects and initiatives, it cannot sacrifice the companies and workers responsible for providing essential food in a healthy diet and with the lowest carbon footprint in its production.”
In the case of the Mediterranean, Cepesca regrets that Sinkevicius has not recognised the efforts that the fishing sector has made in recent years and that its request not to reduce even one more day of fishing in 2022 has not been taken into account , without first assessing the effects of the measures implemented over the last two years – among them, a 20% reduction in fishing effort – within the framework of the Multi-Annual Fisheries Plan in the Western Mediterranean. In this sense, it warns of the putting at risk of 17,000 jobs, due to the additional reduction of 6% in fishing days in 2022 for trawling fleets , the establishment of a maximum fishing effort for the longline of background , as well as a Maximum catch limit of 872 tonnes for red prawn , a new measure for bottom species in the Mediterranean that will cause many complications in day-to-day fisheries management.
Likewise, the sector shows its frustration with the reduction of fishing opportunities in the Atlantic stocks in Iberian waters, in species of great commercial interest, such as southern hake , despite the softening of the initially proposed cut from 18% to 8%, as well as 15% to 5%, in the case of sole; from 16% to 5%, in the case of Norway lobster from the Gulf of Cádiz, or the maintenance of the pollock quota .
However, and despite the result, Cepesca thanks the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, for defending the interests of the Spanish fleet, especially with regard to the measures related to the Mediterranean, approved with the vote against Spain. Likewise, the employer expresses its gratitude to Carmen Crespo, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Junta de Andalucía, and Rosa Quintana, Minister of the Sea of the Xunta de Galicia for their express support to the fishing sector with their presence in Brussels.