CEPESCA will file an appeal in the CJEU due to the imminent closure of 87 bottom fishing zones in France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland CEPESCA considers that the sustainable fisheries draft does not guarantee the legal security of companies in the Spanish fisheries sector

CEPESCA will file an appeal in the CJEU due to the imminent closure of 87 bottom fishing zones in France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland

The Spanish fishing sector (CEPESCA) will file an appeal for annulment in the Court of Justice of the European Union due to the imminent closure, on October 9, of 87 bottom fishing zones in France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. 

The sector, after a meeting held with the rest of the affected community fleets and as a member of the European Bottom Fishing Alliance (EBFA), is already analysing the claims to be brought before the community judicial body, after yesterday’s publication in the Official Journal of the European Union of the Commission’s Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1614, which determines the existing deep-sea fishing areas and establishes a list of areas in which Vulnerable marine ecosystems are known to exist or likely to exist.

The sector hopes to maintain the support shown up to now by the central and regional governments in their denunciation of the irregular processing of this act of execution, fundamentally given the brevity of the deadlines for its entry into force and for the presentation of the appeal, which is You can raise it over the next 60 days from its publication and essential to request a precautionary measure of suspension.

Likewise, the sector will seek the protection of the European Parliament and Ombudsman and will intensify its institutional work to work on the other existing path of amending the EC decision in the annual review of the measure, after updating the scientific report by of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in November. In this case, the entry into force of any modification, alert, would be delayed until the first months of 2023.

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At the same time, the sector maintains its option to call strikes and concentrations before organizations, both national and European, in coordination with other European organizations, through the EBFA.

It should be remembered that the implementing regulations prohibit all fishing activities that involve contact with the seabed (trawling, longlines, gillnets, etc.) in the 87 fishing areas mentioned above, which would have a very negative impact on the future of fishing for bottom in the northeast Atlantic and, therefore, in more than 10,000 fishermen. Specifically, the closed area covers 16,419 km2, between 400 and 800 meters deep , in which the EC alleges the existence of vulnerable marine ecosystems or the possibility that they exist.

The sector denounces that the regulation has not had the corresponding mandatory consultations or an analysis of socioeconomic impact and is also based on reports with scientific gaps, such as the exclusive use of the trawlers’ fishing footprint, and not of the fixed arts. ICES itself has recognized this point and, furthermore, as EBFA has already shown, it has used in its report the base unit of a SQUARE C of about 15-25 km2 per cell, which is not representative of the real footprint of a fishing vessel.

Likewise, it has not used the “best scientific and technical information available”, since Spain had provided data with a much higher resolution than that used by ICES, which has not been taken into account in the evaluation, leading to a much higher impact being shown.

On the other hand, in the annex to the regulation, the coordinates of the existing deep-sea fishing areas include depths less than 400 and 800 metres, generating perplexity and insecurity for Spanish and European fishermen.

Source: Press Release

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CEPESCA to appeal the closure of 87 fishing areas before the CJEU

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